The car industry is a funny one, at least here in Malaysia. We want to increase Green Technology, yet the taxes imposed on electric cars such as the Tesla puts it beyond the reach of ordinary folks.
Yes, ordinary, working folks who want more for their Ringgit, and from the looks of it, Malaysians are becoming more aware of their choice of cars.
Here are 5 cars we think should make it to Malaysia, but then again, its not as simple as ‘we want it, please import it’ as our tax structure makes it pretty impossible for the manufacturer and distributor to consider so.
1. Nissan Qashqai (pronounced Cash-Kai! Ya..we know what you mean. See this)
Completely designed and built in Sunderland, by Nissan Motors UK, the Qashqai is Nissan’s success story in Europe. The quickest car to hit the 2 millionth mark, it marks the departure of Nissan into crossovers (The Qashqai is seen as a replacement model of the Terrano/Mistral in UK). The Qashqai is currently assembled in Sunderland (UK), China, Japan and Russia. Malaysians might already have seen the Qashqai (Singapore has recorded pretty good sales for their country), or its equivalent The Duallis (Nissan named their Japanese Version the Duallis)
Crossovers are in, but with the Qashqai fitting in below the XTrail, maybe it will give Honda a good run for their money. There are different engines fitted to the Qashqai, but we think the 1.2l Petrol and 1.6lDiesel ought to do.
2. Seat (pronounced See-at)
Never seen before on our shores, this Spanish inspired Matador is part of the Volksvagen group, and given that their focus is on other brands, will unlikely see this brand coming here anytime soon, let alone their newly announced Ateca, which lo and behold, is targeted at Qashqai buyers! It is reported to be powered either with a three-cylinder 1.0l engine or a 1.4l four-cylinder petrol version or a 1.6l and 2.0l diesel option. Its also available in either 2wd or 4wd version, to directly take on the Qashqai. Which ever the case, SUVs are still the flavour of the day, as in this case, a crossover.
Since going into liquidation, MG Cars has been reborn MG Motors UK, with China’s SAIC Motor Corp and Nanjing Automobile Group heading the JV. In 2011, MG6 was rolled off the new assembly line, completely different from it’s MG Rover line, from which it originated from. Rights to brands and assets meant that the new group cannot use over in its product line, hence it is now called the MG6. So much for the brand, the MG6 is a 1.9l Diesel C-Segment sedan with a matching 6-speed gearbox.To signal MG’s intent, the China led group has created another joint-venture with Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group and built a 5,000 car facility in Ranong, Thailand paving way for it to enter the ASEAN market.
4. SKODA Octavia
The Skoda brand is no longer represented here in Malaysia, though as recent as 2012 it was still sold by a reputable Malaysian automotive group. The Octavia is probably the best sold Skoda on our shores, and in recent years has undergone some great re-styling. Essentially, its a facelifted car that should still provide value for the brand, after all a lot of its parts are from the German carmaker, Volkswagen (Though some may argue that its the contrary).
A 1.4l turbocharged petrol or 2.0l turbocharged diesel engine is pretty much the option for the Octavia, though it also sport the very ‘stylish interior’ and panoramic roof that some would prefer to have.
5. Vauxhall Astra
The Vauxhall car is an Opel! Both Vauxhall and Opel are owned by General Motors and share common platforms and parts. The all-new Astra offers both petrol and diesel versions, with Vauxhall calling their diesel 1.6 CDTi their ‘Diesel Whisperer’!. A 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo (105PS) petrol engine and all-new 1.4-litre (150PS) ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo, a four-cylinder unit is the main engine powering the Astra. Essentially a redesigned re-engineered car to replace the old Astra, this car is deemed a family hatch.