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All data from monthly reports of Malaysian Automotive Association.

The Total Industry Volume (TIV) for November was 58,742 units, a drop of 7.5% from October and 4% less than what was recorded in November 2020.

This decrease was attributed to reduced supplies of certain models due to the global shortage of microchips (as well as some parts), and some members of the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) also believe that customers may have deferred plans to purchase their new vehicles after learning that the sales tax exemption would be extended till June 30, 2022.

Although there are production delays at some plants due to shortage of parts, the total output in November of 58,0-79 units was 6% higher than for the same month in 2020.

The cumulative TIV over 11 months reached 441,136 units – 4% below the volume achieved for the same period in 2020. This means that the  industry would have to deliver 58,864 vehicles in December to hit the forecast of 500,000 units. While the MAA is optimistic that there will be a higher TIV in December, it is hard to predict just how much higher due to the supply issue. Typically, there is a significant jump at the end of the year with promotions and a final push by companies to get the best numbers before they close the year’s books. In 2020, the TIV went from 56,489 units in November to 64,836 units.

Production disruptions reduce Perodua deliveries in November by 27.1%

At the recent press conference where Toyota’s President, Akio Toyoda, gave a broad overview of the company’s electrification strategies during this decade, 16 fully electric – also known as BEVs or battery electric vehicles – were shown on stage. Most are probably just 3-dimensional models of future products but they certainly attracted a lot of speculation and attention, especially the electric Hilux and a SUV that has styling reminiscent of the FJ Cruiser.

To date, Toyota has launched one BEV model which will go on sale in 2022. This is the bZ4X, which is said to have been developed with involvement of Subaru, which will sell a similar model it calls the Solterra. Mr. Toyoda also showed a video of himself and Koji Sato, President & Chief Branding Officer of Lexus International, testing a Lexus BEV prototype around a test course. It’s typical of the Toyota President who, being a racing driver himself, also gets involved in product development.

An uncamouflaged model of that BEV appeared to be in the group of Lexus prototypes also displayed. The BEV will go into production in 2022 and while details have not been released, Lexus has shown more uncamouflaged pictures of the car. The BEV prototype will be the new RZ, a SUV crossover that will be the first of range of Lexus vehicles that have been designed from the start to be BEVs. Apart from having sold hybrids for many years, this will not be the first fully-electric Lexus model as the all-electric UX 300e has been available for about 2 years now. However, that model was not developed only as a BEV.

UX 300e is the fully electric version of the UX compact crossover.

With the RZ, which will start with a 450e variant, the vehicle is built on a completely new dedicated platform called e-TNGA, a version of the TNGA (Toyota New Generation Architecture) that has been used for all recent new models. While the bz4X is RAV4-sized, the RZ 450e looks like a RX-sized model with similar styling themes but a closed front end typical of EVs.

All-wheel drive with  DIRECT4
Not many details are available at this time though it can be expected that the powertrain will be something similar to what is in the bZ4X, with higher output and a bigger battery pack. The all-wheel drive system will be an exclusive control system called DIRECT4 which dynamically controls the drive force to the wheels constantly optimizing the power delivery. It can be fully front wheel drive or rear wheel drive or varying combinations of front and rear drive as conditions require.

The new RZ will also be available with a steer-by-wire system. This is said to eliminate the traditional hand-over-hand action for lower speed driving or parking. It would be possible to do a full U-turn with a simple rotation of the steering wheel.

Steering wheel in the Toyota bZ4X which will initially be offered in SUVs for the China market.

Lexus says there will be a ‘comfortable and unique shape’ which provides a clear view to all relevant information from the instrument panel to the heads-up windshield display. This suggests that the RZ may also have that steering column with a wing-shape. In the bz4X, it will initially be offered in China and then progressively appear in other markets.

Battery warranty up to 10 years
As a measure of the brand’s confidence in its BEV technology, Lexus is offering (in some markets) a 10-year (or up to 1,000,000 kms) extended care on all functional defects of the vehicle’s main battery pack and capacity degradation below 70%, provided that the regular health checks foreseen in the maintenance program are followed. This is a separate warranty from the vehicle warranty which covers the powertrain.

The new RZ range will begin the Lexus offensive to have BEVs in every segment, and account for 100% of the brand’s total sales in Europe, North America, and China by 2030.

LF-Z Electrified concept shows design direction for future BEVs from the brand.

External designers create Virtual Interiors for Lexus LF-Z Electrified concept

The Maserati’s MC20 Fuoriserie Edition for David Beckham is like a letter written to the city of Miami, home of Beckham’s football club in America. It began as part of the carmaker’s Fuoriserie customization program which allows customers to create a very personalised Maserati. In this case, the customer was the brand’s ambassador himself, who became a designer with the help of the Maserati Centro Stile.

At Maserati Fuoriserie, a car starts as a blank canvas and customers are offered an array of instruments to create with. The rest is left to the clients taste and inspiration, giving them the opportunity to set their own trends and express their personality.

After a personalized and collaborative design process, Beckham and the designers created the MC20 Fuoriserie Edition for David Beckham. This car translates true passion into a carbonfibre monocoque, entirely Made in Italy, and powered by a patented V6 petrol engine derived from Formula 1 technologies.

Maserati MC20 David Beckham Edition 2021

The end result of this very personal sportscar is black and pink, a chromatic dichotomy, as well as the interplay between glossy and matt surfaces. The team colours are black and pink, and the team uniforms are characterized by contrasting glossy-matt treatments.

Starting from this as an inspiration, the bodywork features a glossy black tone which contrasts with the Trident logos on the grille and on the C-pillar, in black, but with an opaque finish. The Maserati lettering on the rear is also opaque, while the MC20 badge on the door is pastel pink, as are the Brembo brake calipers.

The interior, in leather and Alcantara, is black with contrast-stitching in pink. The backrests, in Alcantara, are worked with a tone-on-tone laser engraving method and the headrest features a 3-dimensional pastel pink embroidery.  In the centre tunnel between the two seats is a personalized nameplate with a glossy-matte effect. At the top, next to the Trident, the Maserati Fuoriserie lettering is pastel pink, at the bottom are the italics ‘For David’ which appears with an aluminium effect.

Maserati MC20 David Beckham Edition 2021

Maserati MC20 David Beckham Edition 2021

“As car designers, our mission is to offer a holistic experience. This value guides our Brand’s stylistic research, making each Maserati uniquely recognizable. Our customization program is another example of our brand’s goal to create singular experiences for our customers: Maserati Fuoriserie is a blank canvas, on which Maserati clients can write their own stories and unleash their creativity, making their dreams come true,” said Klaus Busse, Head of Maserati Design.

“Designing this special edition MC20 with David, as with all our Fuoriserie projects, is also an ode to the Brand’s past, taking us back to a time when every car was hand-built to the client’s requests, giving life to a one-off, a true ‘fuoriserie’,” he explained.

“I have always been a car enthusiast, so to be part of designing and creating my MC20 through the Fuoriserie customisation programme has been an amazing experience. Cars are about individual taste whether it’s the model, colour or small personal details on the inside. It has been incredible to collaborate with the Maserati team and designers to create this one-off car that is inspired by my second home, Miami and my football club there. It is a joy to be behind the wheel,” said Beckham.

Maserati MC20 David Beckham Edition 2021

Maserati Levante SUV gets hybrid variant

It was a good start for the final showdown of the Malaysia Championship Series (MCS) 2021 in the first race of Round 3 as R Engineering HMRT swept 3 podiums in each category – Touring Production (T), Stock Production 1 (SP1), and Stock Production 2 (SP2).

Their drivers, Alif Hamdan and his partner, Lai Wee Sing spearheaded the T Production category while Chiow Teck Song finished the race in second place for the SP1 category and the combination of Putera Adam and Calvin Wong in third place.

“Syukur alhamdulillah, thank you to R Engineering and HMRT. The car was almost faultless halfway through the race suddenly, two sensors ‘went on holiday’ so we had to tow the car back and change it. We are lucky enough to finish the race,” said a delighted Alif Hamdan.

“I had a good start in P9. I got up in second place then I got touched and dropped down to last. I manage to crawl back to P2 but then after 30 seconds penalty, I finished in third place. I am really satisfied with Race 1,” rival Putera Adam added.

In SP1, Japanese driver from Rworks, Ken Urata driving Honda Civic FD2R won the category leaving Chiow Teck Song, R Engineering HMRT in second place and Empire M Racing in third place with their drivers, Shazull Hisham and Mohd Syahrizal Jamaluddin.

“I keep my pace and took the opportunity to overtake others. I had a heartbreaking moment going into the last corner of Turn 15 but I manage to end the race well!” Urata said.

In Malaysian Touring Car category, Mark Darwin and Foo Yung Chieh from Tedco Racing completed the 21 laps in the first place, Brendan Paul and Diivvyesh Perajun from the privateer team in second place while Danny Chin and Admi Shahrul in third place.

Moving to SP2, Lew Kar Wai and Ho William from Speed X Racing team touched down the finishing line in the first place, Imran Wafi Adnan and Najiy Ayyad from DNT Tune in second place while third place goes to Putera Adam and Calvin Wong from R Engineering HMRT.

“Actually, we have been struggling throughout the whole season. This is a comeback from us. Thanks to the team and crew members. We are looking forward to the next round,” was the common remarks from the drivers of the Speed X Racing team.

“First of all, thank you very much to the team for giving us a good car. We started and ended the race very well. The car was well balanced and had no damages,” said Najiy Ayyad and partner, Imran Wafi, from DNT Tune.

The races over the two days also be viewed live on the SIC Facebook page.

Final battles of 2021 Malaysian Championship Series to be held on December 15 & 16

PETRONAS Lubricants Marketing Malaysia Sdn. Bhd (PLMMSB), a subsidiary of PETRONAS Dagangan Berhad (PDB) which distributes and markets PETRONAS engine oil, is now further expanding its marketing network through an e-commerce platform.

The engine oils, for 4-wheelers (Syntium) and 2-wheelers (Sprinta) have been on sale on the Shopee platform since the middle of last year at the PETRONAS Official Store. Customers can easily choose from a range of premium products (fully synthetic, semi -synthetic or mineral) by vehicle type and viscosity and place their orders online as well as make payments.

PLMMSB Chief Executive Officer Hardeep Singh said: “This is part of our effort to ensure that customers always get genuine, high quality PETRONAS engine oil. Through the e-commerce platform, customers can now get various PETRONAS engine oils more easily, quickly, and reliably.”

In addition, PETRONAS AutoExpert car service vouchers have also been introduced on the Lazada e-commerce platform. All transactions and appointments are done online and through the official PETRONAS Official Store platform.

Besides affordable prices, customers will also receive exclusive gifts with every purchase of PETRONAS Syntium and PETRONAS Sprinta products, as well as services at PETRONAS AutoExpert.

For those who want to get official PETRONAS items, including PSRT MotoGP and AMG Mercedes F1 team t-Shirts, jackets, hats, and duffel bags, they can also find them at the PETRONAS Official Stores.

Click here for other news on PETRONAS.

The Technology Transfer Apprenticeship Programme (TTAP) developed by Malaysia Automotive Robotics & IoT Institute (MARii) and Persona Energy Sdn Bhd reached its completion through the TTAP appreciation awards and handover ceremony, held at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), recently.

The TTAP is a unique technology transfer programme to develop local automotive talent, expertise and technology value chain through apprenticeships of selected local engineers to procure important engineering insight within endurance racing technology at the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

In June this year, 4 TTAP apprentice engineers were sent to be part of the JOTA team at the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship, to enhance automotive skills and knowledge of local talents through apprenticeships with experienced race engineers, in international racing events with professional motorsport teams.

Throughout the programme, the apprentices are considered as team members, and were given real-time engineering responsibilities on certain segments of vehicle development for each race. These responsibilities include collection and analysis of the performance of race car components, design and layout of workshop equipment and tools during races, repair and maintenance of race cars, and other engineering activities that are required during the development and race day.

An important aspect of TTAP is the collection of vehicle data during the six legs of races throughout the WEC, which provides important information from high performance vehicles that can be utilised in the development of future vehicles and components. This data includes durability, performance, and many other forms of information that can be used in engineering analysis of future vehicle technology including autonomous and electric vehicles.

As technology in motorsports are far more advanced than that in the manufacturing line, such information procured through the TTAP program will bring a new dimension to the development of the automotive dan mobility sector, either at the vehicle assembly level, or component manufacturer.

At the WEC, the JOTA team clinched a 1-2 finish in the 8 Hours at Portimao leg in Portugal, and achieved a podium finish in every race in the WEC.

Audi to compete in Dakar Rally 2022, return to WEC, and leave Formula E after 2021


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