CYBERJAYA: Local technology private firm, DreamEDGE Sdn Bhd was appointed to be the ‘anchor company’ in developing the new national car, which is slated to be rolled out in March, 2021.
International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking said the new national car was likely to be a C-segment sedan, which can either have an advanced internal combustion engine or be a hybrid.
“The new national car prototype is also scheduled to be revealed in March 2020. We (government) is working with DreamEDGE together with Daihatsu Motor Co Ltd in Japan, who will provide its support in advanced automotive technology in terms of developing the powertrain and car platform,” he said at a press conference after announcing the new national car here, yesterday.
Leiking said the technological collaboration with Daihatsu would deliver advanced technology and capabilities in human capital expansion.
“This will create new opportunities for local vendors and talent to be part of the high technology value chain,” he added.
Leiking said the project will be privately funded by DreamEdge as it would not involve the government’s funds.
“The government will consider giving a tax incentive for the new national car project and participants (in the project) can apply for it. The government will then see whether they are entitled to it,” he said.
DreamEDGE chief executive officer Khairil Adri Adnan said the company is eyeing a contract manufacturing to develop the car locally for the mass market.
“By having some of the support from our technology partners, within 18 months, leveraging on our existing facilities that we have in Malaysia, we can deliver it,” he said.
Adri said DreamEDGE was in the midst of discussing the best fundraising schemes with related partners to pursue the project.
“The investment is likely to cost hundreds of millions of ringgit to fund the development,” he said, adding that the company has yet to decide on the new national car name.
Adri said the company began approaching the government to participate in developing the new national car about six months ago.
“We showcased our capabilities in terms of new technology for the car. Our main activities in the project include the whole exterior and interior designs of the car as well as human interface device for the electronic information system,” he said.
However, Adri said details have yet to be ironed out and the company would announce the final decision in the next few months.
Meanwhile, Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) chief executive officer Datuk Madani Sahari said the technology collaboration between Daihatsu and DreamEDGE would not involve equity ownership for the project.
“However, our discussion with Daihatsu could include the car platform or engine developments. We will announce its progression from time to time in terms of what engine and platform will be used for the new national car project,” he said.
Madani said Daihatsu has agreed to lend its support in terms of sharing some technologies and co-developing some aspects of the technology to realise the project.
“There are many business models that can happen, which will be decided between DreamEDGE and Daihatsu. Both parties are open on how they will co-develop new technologies for the new national car project,” he said.
DreamEDGE is also expected to unveil its engineering capability mock up for the new national car by end of this month, followed by its first prototype model in March 2020.
Since its establishment in 2007, DreamEDGE offers engineering services and innovative solutions in automotive, rail, aeronautics and manufacturing.
The company focuses on several types of innovation, from product and process innovation, to business and service innovations.