AN unfavourable foreign exchange rate and market uncertainty has prevented the government from achieving the target to reduce car prices by 30 per cent, set five years ago.
However, to date, the average reduction in car prices is 16.38 per cent since 2013.
Bernama reported Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan as saying this in reply to a question from Senator Datuk Yong Wui Chung in Dewan Negara this week.
“In 2016, car prices rose by 2.13 per cent due to the depreciation of the ringgit. During the same year, the overall drop in car prices stood at only 12.55 per cent,” he was quoted by the news agency.
According to Ahmad Maslan, the prices of several cars had been reduced in stages. They included the Proton Exora 1.6 (4.7 per cent), Perodua Alza 1.5 (11.3 per cent) Perodua Myvi 1.3 (19.4 per cent) Mazda CX-5 (6.6 per cent) and Honda Jazz (19.3 per cent).
If new car prices are still on the high side, Malaysians may not like this next bit of news.
Proton and other local third party manufacturers have reportedly ended the production of Wira parts, reported a local daily this week.
The Proton Wira, which is still ubiquitous on Malaysian roads, was first launched 25 years ago. It has been 10 years since the last model was sold.
Parts for the Lancer, which the Wira is based on, are also on the decline since it has been more than 30 years since it was introduced.
The Wira is no doubt a workhorse that is still transporting countless thousands each day in the country.
According to the article, a total of nearly a million Wiras were sold over the years. Of this total, it is estimated that 85 per cent are still on the road!
Malaysians, however, may have at least one reason to rejoice this month.
The Road Transport Department is offering 70 per cent off summonses at all its branches nationwide, in conjunction with its 72nd anniversary.
However, the discount is not applicable for five offences - (those committed) under the Automated Awareness Safety System (AWAS); offences under the Automatic Enforcement System (AES); overloading of vehicles of over five tonnes; court summonses and compounds involving foreigners.