Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Automotive sector to drive Malaysia's competitiveness


THE automotive sector's transformation map has and will continue to make Malaysia competitive, even with challenging free trade pacts like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which Malaysia hopes to be a member.

Signs of steady improvement in the sector have been showing in the past decade since the Asean Free Trade Area (Afta), Japan-Malaysia Economic Partnership Agreement and the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), enabling Malaysia to be on the same page as the leading automotive countries in the world.

"(Global) competitiveness is what we have been preparing for. Right from Afta, the government has been liberalising the industry," said Malaysia Automotive Institute chief executive officer Madani Sahari.

With Afta, for instance, there is nothing to stop automotive manufacturers from using Indonesia to sell their vehicles to the Malaysian market.

Both the trade pacts with Japan and Australia, which come into effect in 2016, will see zero import duties for vehicles from these markets.

The National Automotive Policy (NAP), which is undergoing its second revision after the first in 2006, has paved the path towards liberalising the industry further by extending licences to energy-efficient vehicles (EEV) for all vehicles.


How do these developments impact Proton and Perodua?

"They need to transform now. Perodua has been aggressive in reducing prices because it reduces operation costs," he said.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Toyota starts production at Gateway 2 plant

To meet the rising demand in domestic and overseas markets, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) in Japan, and TMT decided to invest about 11,000 million Thai Baht in another new assembly plant in Thailand which is “Gateway 2” at Chachoengsao province to assemble passenger cars with the annual production capacity at the beginning of about 80,000 units with 1,500 employments. As a result, this will increase Toyota total normal production capacity of up to 770,000 units per year. The production at the Gateway 2 plant will start on 26 August 2013.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Thailand invites VW to build eco-cars in Kingdom


Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra would like to see German carmaker Volkswagen invest in the manufacture of eco-cars in Thailand, which has attractive investment-promotion policies and a strong automobile industry.

Yingluck met with Volkswagen AG chief executive officer Christian Klingler and discussed problems and obstacles associated with manufacturing eco-cars in Thailand.

Klingler was told that the government has policies to promote regional trade via investment in transport infrastructure, which will facilitate the transport needs of the private sector region-wide. Thailand is in a strong position to be a major regional manufacturing base for vehicles of various brands from several countries.

She welcomed Volkswagen to explore the opportunities for eco-cars in Thailand. The Ministry of Industry and the Board of Investment are ready to provide assistance to the company should it be interested in investing in a plant here, she said.

Klingler said Volkswagen was interested in expanding its investments in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, which offers attractive business potential.

Volkswagen is confident in the investment climate offered by Thailand the rapidly growing Thai automotive industry amid the vast business potentials in this region, he added.

Industry Ministry finalising eco-car project policy


The Industry Ministry has announced that conditions for Phase 2 of the eco-car project are nearly finalised and will be forwarded to the Board of Investment (BOI) for next week's meeting.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) has expressed concerns that rushing to get approval of Phase 2 of the policy could affect Phase I manufacturers.

Industry Minister Prasert Boonchaisuk will chair a meeting today of the subcommittee for investment promotion policy to discuss Phase 2 of the eco-car policy, according to a ministry source. The results will be forwarded to the BOI meeting to be chaired by Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong next Wednesday.

Planned policy of the eco-car is likely to be announced this year for next year's investment, the source said. Thailand hopes to have produced 3 million eco-cars by 2017. Five carmakers are expected to invest in Phase I of the eco-car project. They are Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Suzuki.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

PROTON launches Suprima S

Proton has unveiled a hatchback version of the Prevé saloon - the Suprima S.

Held at the Matrade Exhibition and Convention Centre, the Proton Suprima S was unveiled by the advisor of the Proton Group, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, accompanied by Proton executive chairman Mohd Khamil and deputy chief executive officer Lukman Ibrahim.

The company says the new model is its most well-equipped product to date, with the Premium variant offering a host of features never before seen in a Proton model. This includes Proton Infotainment with Android-based Operating System, rear LED light guides, DRL (Daytime Running Lights), Hill-Hold Assist, and Park Assist with front parking sensors.

The Suprima S is powered by Proton's 1.6-litre turbo engine, mated to a seven-speed ProTronic CVT. Proton claims it delivers power and torque equivalent to a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

We are happy to have scheduled a tour and meeting at The Bentley Library and The Automotive Research Center (ARC),
Ann Arbor, MI, Saturday, September 28, 2013. Our hosts will be Mr. Leonard Coombs/Principal Archivist/Bentley Library and Anna Stefanopoulou/Professor of Mechanical Engineering/Automotive Research Center Director.
The Bentley Library has automotive research materials as well as many wonderful surprises in their archives. The ARC is fascinating and it will be an honor to be taken on a tour. Take a look at both of the websites.
The Flyer has been attached as well as directions. The flyer when printed will be like a booklet (2-up/2sided). If you cannot print it let me know and I'll U.S. mail it to you.
Any questions please let me know asap.
***Update: 2013 membership ***we currently have 28 paid 2013 members (12 are NEW members to the Leland Chapter)***
Victoria Mobley
SAH/Leland - Secretary / Treasurer
John Jos Jendza III/Top Hat John - Director
Jim Petersen - Associate Director
Society of Automotive Historians/Leland Chapter
Tour / Gathering / Meeting
Saturday, September 28, 2013
11:00 am  – 3:30 pm
v     Bentley Historical Library
v     Automotive Research Center
 * * * *
Bentley Historical Library
University of Michigan
1150 Beal Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Automotive Research Center (ARC)
1231 Beal Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
*** * *
RSVP to Victoria Mobley by September 23, 2013
vmobley@wowway.com or 586-246-0312
$10.00/per person includes Lunch, Tours, Donation to Library

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thai auto sales drop 25% in July 2013

Thailand Automotive Industry Statistics - July 2013

Domestic car sales over the month totalled 98,251 units, down 25.4% on July 2012 and a decline of 7.33% on June.

Sales volume stayed below 100,000 units for the first time in 15 months, because car makers had delivered all vehicles ordered under the first car scheme and due to stricter car loan conditions imposed by financial firms.

Car sales over the first seven months of the year stood at 839,046 units, up 13.06% on the same period last year.

A total of 82,710 vehicles were exported in July, down 13.99% on July 2012 and 14.01% on June, Surapong Paisitpatanapong, spokesman for the Automotive Industry Club, said on Thursday.

The vehicle export value for the month stood at 39.45 billion baht, down 16.21% on July 2012, said Mr Surapong.

Exports over the first seven months of the year (Jan-July) totalled 617,076 units, up 11.54% from the same period last year.

Car exports accounted for 99.07% of the total for-export production output, showing a strong demand in overseas markets. Export value was up 6.05% from the same period last year to stand at 280.27 billion baht.

Vehicle output in July stood at 201,446 units, down 6.45% on July 2012 and a decline of 7.21% on June. Output over the first seven months of the year amounted to 1,542,405 units, an increase of 20.82% on the same period last year.

Mr Surapong projected car output over the next three months (Aug-Oct) at 618,619 units, down 4.89% on the 650,445 units actual output from May to July 2013, and a decline of 11.52% on 699,155 units actual output from August to October 2012.

Indonesia, Thailand to drive Asean car market to 4.7 million units in 2019, says Frost & Sullivan

The ASEAN automotive market is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.8% (2012-2019) to 4.71 million units in 2019, mainly driven by rapid market expansions in Indonesia and Thailand, market researchers Frost & Sullivan said today.

Check out the whole story here.

VW Plant Indonesia...

According to 'usually well informed sources' VW is planning to announce a plant for passenger vehicles in early September - Start of Production 2017 marking the serious entry of European car industry into ASEAN.

We'll continue to follow the story and keep you posted.

Listen to this month’s conversation on car service tips with Kent and the Colonel. They are talking coolant systems, tires, batteries and cabin air filters. You will learn things like why rotating your tires is so important to the wear of your tire. And, did you know if you buy tires from Kent Rylee, they will rotate your tires for free. They are also talking coolant service. Because it has not been overly hot this summer, many of you may have neglected your cooling systems. As we get into fall and winter antifreeze is the issue to make sure your water in your car does not freeze up. Learn when to check this and more. In this interview, Kent offers a monthly service special on a coolant service that you will want to make sure you know about. He also discusses the importance of cabin air filters and when to change them. Also, get a free battery test and print out any time you service with Kent Rylee. Take a listen and learn how to care for your car! 


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bill Porter / Ninth Annual Concours d'Elegance of Southwest Michigan, August 9 & 10, 2013
submitted by SAH/Leland Member Charlie Henry

Happiness is blue skies, great cars and Bill Porter at the Ninth Annual Concours d'Elegance of Southwest Michigan. The August 9 and 10 event honored Bill as its Featured Designer.

On Friday the 9th, show entrants enjoyed a reception, buffet dinner and an opportunity to meet and talk with Bill. After dinner, he reviewed the history of automotive design in a slide presentation entitled “Bombs and Fins.”

As part of the Saturday concours, show cars paraded before the spectators. The emcee, Ed Lucas, introduced each car and provided background information. Bill then described design features and explained their importance to the automotive industry and trade. During the award presentations, as the winners again passed in review, Bill expanded his commentary on design and style.
Proceeds from the Concours d’Elegance of Southwest Michigan benefit Hospice at Home, a local non-profit organization. Hospice at Home provides care to those in need of medical care, but with limited means to pay. The available services include health and wellness training, caregiver classes, grief counseling and pre-hospice programs

Photos of Bill Porter at the concours.
5980 – Title slide of his presentation
5983 – Wound up and steaming all ahead
6018 – With Ed Lucas at the announcer’s table
6024 – Commenting on features of cars passing in review
6026 – Ditto

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Auto industry faces crossroads ahead of ASEAN trade pact

Via VietNamNet

Viet Nam's automotive industry could face major collapse under commitments to the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) which will abolish auto import taxes in 2018.

Mazda cars manufactured by Vina Mazda, a subsidiary of Mazda, at the Quang Nam-based Chu Lai – Truong Hai Complex roll off the production line.
ASEAN + will waive taxes on car imports between ASEAN member countries, as well as Japan, South Korea and China, who are party to the agreement.
The tax cut poses a disastrous threat to Viet Nam's fledgling auto industry, unable to compete with the price and quality of imports.
"If we do not make immediate measures, Viet Nam would become a big auto importer in the region" said Ngo Van Tru, Deputy Head of the Heavy Industry Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The last chance

It has been 20 years since foreign car makers first built factories in Viet Nam. In spite of a long history of Government investment, Viet Nam's auto industry faces significant hurdles.
Under the new agreement, the country has only five years to develop its auto industry to compete with an impending influx of imports after 2018.
"The situation shows that it would be a chance to develop the local auto industry, but if we miss this chance, Viet Nam will be the auto import market," a representative from the Ministry of Industry and Trade said in a recent conference.
There are currently 18 auto makers that belong to the Viet Nam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA). Approximately 30 others have a combined investment of over US$1 billion and an output over 200,000 cars per year.
According to the Industry and Trade Ministry's report, the local auto industry is behind on most of its targets.
While the target for local diesel production was set to reach 100,000 units by 2010, Truong Hai is the only company to invest in a diesel factory which will begin production in 2014.
As many as 100,000 gearboxes and 100,000 transmission systems were forecast for production in 2010. No investment has been made.
Meanwhile, Viet Nam plays host to only 210 auto parts manufacturers, one fifth of Indonesia's production base and one fifteenth of Thailand's.
Adding insult to injury, most of these companies produce simple and low technology products with low local contents.
According to the General Director of Toyota Viet Nam, Yoshihisa Maruta, a long term development plan, stable policies and greater incentives for auto makers would provide a necessary boost to Viet Nam's auto industry.
The GM Viet Nam General Director, Guarav Gupta, called on the Government to develop a detailed plan to support the local auto industry and boost investor confidence.

Detailed plan needed

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has revised the auto industry master plan in a bid to save the auto industry.
The Viet Nam Automobile Development Plan, which looks as far as 2020, classifies market opportunities to help producers meet the demands of market segments. The plan aligns with current development plans to revolutionise the manufacturing sector, according to Tran Tuan Anh, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade.
Anh said the Ministry has added three "breaking" solutions to the revised plan, including stable policies for the auto industry, producing environmentally-friendly vehicles and creating favourable conditions for car makers.
According to the Viet Nam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA), domestic auto sales exceeded 49,800 units in the first half of this year, up 16 per cent on 2012 figures.
Car and truck sales grew 22 per cent and 13 per cent respectively, from 2012.
VAMA forecasts indicate sales will reach 112,000 units after a proposed 10-12 per cent cut in auto registration fees.
Source: VNS

Malaysia: Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement likely to benefit car companies


PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s impending involvement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) has set tongues wagging about the potential impact it would have on various industries in the country in particular the local automotive sector.

One argument is that signing such an agreement would open the markets to countries with closed markets, hence putting Malaysia and local car companies at a disadvantage.

It is known that Japanese, South Korean, Chinese and European cars could benefit from the national status of Asean countries, merely by being assembled in those (Asean) countries with a minimum of 40% local content such as batteries, tyres and a few other components.

Read the full text here

Monday, August 5, 2013

As many of you know, NAPA actively supports the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.  In an effort to help promote this charity a series of inspirational videos were produced and this blog post highlights one of those videos.  Kent Rylee Automotive Solutions is proud to be a part of the NAPA family and their quest to help this incredible organization.  Watch Lt. Pete Scobell explain in a YouTube video the unseen injuries he sustained as a Navy SEAL.

I couldn’t read emails, let alone write them. My wife would ask me to run to the grocery store and I would find myself sitting in the parking lot at work. I was taking six Excedrin a day in order to cope with my headaches. The herniated discs in my neck would keep me up all night unless I drank myself to sleep. I was exhausted all the time but unable to sleep. My absent mindedness was causing fight after fight with my wife, and in our final culminating battle before checking into NICoE, my wife said to me, “I hope you have PTSD, because if you don’t, I married the biggest a**hole in the world.”-Lt. Pete Scobell, former U.S. Navy SEAL
That may sound a little funny, but it’s difficult to read Scobell’s words without becoming emotional. He—and thousands of soldiers like him—have made tremendous sacrifices in their service. So have their families. And they depend on organizations like Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund to help them to recover so they can free themselves of the pain and injury of the wounds of war.
KNOW HOW to care
NAPA is committed to Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and its work to help heal soldiers with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and TBI. With your help, we raised more than $350,000 last year for Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. This year, our goal is even loftier. We want to help the fund with $1 million in donations. We need you to help us get there.
You can help in several ways. Through our “Get Back and Give Back” campaign, you can redeem a $25 rebate for any battery, alternator or starter you buy at a Kent Rylee Automotive Solutions. Each time a customer redeems a rebate, NAPA will donate $1 to Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. You can also elect to donate $10 of your rebate to the fund, or just make a donation by text message: simply text “NAPA” to 27722.
Racing fans will notice a special Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund paint scheme on NAPA Racing cars this month. Both Martin Truex Jr.’s NAPA Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Ron Capps‘ NAPA Dodge Charger Funny Car in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series are supporting the efforts. Make a donation, and encourage your racing fan friends and family to do the same.
Your help will make a difference in the lives of soldiers and their families.