With the launch of the Proton Saga in 1983 , we had become the first country in the South East Asia region that have the ability to build our own car. With the collaboration between the Mitsubishi Motors, the Proton Saga the Malaysian first car, it marks a pride and sense of nationalism for Malaysian. Proton had since launched many cars from the Iswara, Wira, Satria, Persona and their flagship car Proton Perdana. Since then more Malaysian can own a car and it is showed in our national highway that they are a more Malaysian car than the foreign car. But unfortunately, with the launch the Proton, another thing had happened where the tax for the foreign car had been increased to nearly 300% for the reason to protect the national automobile interest.
What the implication of this tax for the buying power of the Malaysian in the automobile industry? The car lovers in our country need to spend a lot of money to own a car which some car price is more expensive than the price of houses in Malaysia. After Singapore that has COE for them to own a car, we are paying some astronomical price to own a car. For the entry level Japanese sedan like the Honda City, Toyota Vios and also the Nissan Almera we need to pay nearly RM70,000 to RM90,000 above to own this car and this is because of the increase in the foreign duties automobiles tax. And another thing is the car is a CKD car and not a CBU cars.The CKD where the car had been assembled locally and the CBU where the car is imported but they is not much difference in the price. This is for the Japanese and the amount that needs to be paid for the continental entry level sedan is also more astronomical than the Japanese as to own the premium luxury BMW 7 Series the user need to spend nearly RM700,000 above.
But with the price are we getting a full specification for the car. The answer is a resounding NO. Let’s compare the Toyota Camry Hybrid that sold in our country and Thailand. Thailand is the first country to have the Toyota Camry Hybrid in the South East Asia region and with the price for the top range is THB 1,849,000 (equals to MYR222,073), the pricing is slightly higher than the model in our country but in Thai’s Toyota Camry Hybrid there are ventilated seat, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, Pre- cash Safety, Lane Departure Warning, and 3 zone air conditioning system that is missing from our Camry.
The Nissan Teana that was launched by Tan Choong Motors received a lot of rave reviews from our Malaysian due to availability of the safety specification to all variants, comfortability, and for the smoothness of the Nissan CVT gearbox. But it does not have the blind sports monitor system, reverse camera, or the multimedia interface. The some Tan Choong Motors who distributing the car in Singapore had included the Blind Sports Monitoring System, Lane Departure Warning and also the Moving Object Detection. In Singapore, they are also selling the Nissan Teana 3.5cc version with had been discontinued here with the launch of the new Nissan Teana.
The Thai’s had received the new Honda Accord Hybrid that was launched in August of this year. But we do not get the Honda Accord Hybrid but unfortunately, we have the Honda Accord facelift with only some minor changes in the interior and exterior and with the price of the RM170,000 above. Even the Volkswagen Passat B7 that was sold in our country does not have the Park Assist, Reverse Camera, Keyless Entry , and much more but in Singapore they car is been sold with this specification. By the way, the Passat B8 had been launched in Singapore and in our country the launch may be next month or early next year.
Even some of the car lovers that had to afford this car but the monthly installment that can be more than RM1,000 above and the price of the servicing and maintaining which in some cases is overpriced and the service center can the charges user the cut-throat prices. The increase of the car tax led to some of the unbelievable amounts that need to be paid to own a car in our country. With the Proton that has some reliability issues, the poor perception among the Malaysian and also the inability of Proton to compete with the best car manufacturer worldwide makes this more frustrating for us.
Another thing that can be frustrating for the car lovers is that they paying some astronomical price and only getting the least amount of the specification compare to our neighbors. In some case, we do not have some of the famous model sold in our country. Volkswagen Phaeton is selling in Singapore but not here, the Nissan GTR also is selling in Singapore but not here, the new Honda BR-V is selling in Thailand but not here yet, and much more.
They are some reason on why car sold in Singapore is the most expensive in the world and that is due to the size of the country and the government had made it nearly impossible to own a car with the COE price included but they had countered it with an efficient public transportation. We Malaysian know on the public transportation in our country that is inconsistent and can lead to more frustration for the users. The car that is sold in Singapore is not CKD and most of them are imported.
Although the car tax price for the foreign car but even for the local made, the price seems astronomical like the latest Proton Perdana had been priced for RM 130, OOO above and it is quite an astronomical price for the national car. Although Malaysian are paying a high price for the car here but we are getting less specification for the price compared to our neighbors Thailand and Singapore.