Last week, together with the International Trade and Industry deputy minister, we presented the overview of the automotive industry for last year and the government’s plans to elevate technology adoption within the local ecosystem this year.
Despite a challenging automotive policy implementation this decade, a changing face of globalisation as seen in the economic outlook of global superpowers and stiffer competition within the region, Malaysia’s main technological community yet again demonstrated its resilience.
Exports of vehicles, parts and components and remanufactured parts increased to RM2.08 billion, RM12.1 billion and RM523.1 million, respectively.
More than 60,000 new jobs were created with a huge rise in the volume of a highly skilled workforce in product and process design, data analysis, design validation, etc.
A larger number of Malaysian parts and component suppliers are now applying best manufacturing practices and reducing waste through the implementation of Lean Production Systems throughout their operations, with a significant number of businesses now fully equipped with in-house product and process design capabilities.
We should be proud that our domestic automotive ecosystem has risen in strength through localisation by all brands operating worldwide.
More than 62 per cent of new cars are now energy efficient vehicles, and more people have participated in safety and inspection campaigns as well as motor shows organised throughout the automotive event calendar.
However, for me we are only as good as our last success.
While we acknowledge our current foundations, we are quickly looking to move to the global stage. The government’s call for a meaningful participation in science, technology and engineering is key to moving our society as a whole through higher levels.
There has been resistance, more in the form of scepticism among those who feel our dreams are too big for our own capabilities. My answer is simple – the creation of top level participation, be it through public or private ventures, creates the necessary trickle-down effect to elevate the poor to satisfactory, the satisfactory to good and the good to excellent.
If it is true that resources are limited, they are channelled to create activities of the technology chain in order to create opportunities for those at the bottom tiers. Then, when the bottom needs a push forward, they already have the demand created for them and all they need is the means to start and operate.
This year, the ministry, through Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) is taking this exact approach to spur the elevation of the automotive industry towards connected mobility and the adoption of robotics and Internet of Things (IoT) throughout the local value chain.
In the areas of technology, new programmes are being implemented in areas such as additive manufacturing and generative design, augmented reality, digital engineering and prototyping, artificial intelligence and telematics.
This is through many turnkey projects undertaken by MARii in the fields of lithium ion batteries, electric mass transportation and manufacturing system integration.
The adoption of technologies will be paired with human capital readiness with latest MARii’s Industry Professional Certificate and Automotive Industry Certification Engineering (AICE) programmes to allow for the reskilling and knowledge enhancement of graduates.
New academic programmes will develop graduates in Industry 4.0 through advanced diplomas, associate degrees, masters by research through a MARii Industry 4.0 Academy.
Many of these programmes will be implemented not just in the Klang Valley, but through established MARii satellites that will be strategically placed nationwide.
The implementation plan is designed to cover all areas of technology adoption, and ride on technology adoption of advanced robotics and IoT applications within the automotive industry and mobility as a whole.
The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii).