Local firm ties up with Japan’s Daihatsu for 3rd national car

From left: International trade and industry ministry secretary-general Lokman Hakim Ali, DreamEDGE CEO Khairil Adri Adnan, minister Darrell Leiking and Malaysia Automotive Robotics and IoT Institute CEO Madani Sahari.

CYBERJAYA: A private technological firm is developing Malaysia’s third national car in collaboration with Daihatsu Motors in Japan, with the first model ready by 2021 and mass production by 2031.

DreamEDGE Sdn Bhd, a company based in Cyberjaya, will be working with Daihatsu, with a mock-up of the car’s design to be ready by August next year.

The announcement today ends speculation on who will fund the latest automobile project, after more than a year of debate on whether the government should venture into the car industry following the bad experience faced by Proton, the first national car, not long ago.

DreamEDGE expects the first model to be rolled out by March next year.

“The new national car will be fully designed and developed by Malaysian engineers, with the technology support of Daihatsu,” said International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking who announced the joint venture here.

Darell said although the project is privately funded, Putrajaya will help in terms of licensing and support.

He said DreamEDGE was chosen to build the car as it could undertake a complete process from prototyping to mass production.

DreamEDGE CEO Khairil Adri Adnan said the first model would be a C-segment sedan, and that whether it will be fuelled by an internal combustion or hybrid engine has yet to be decided.

“We won’t be having a plant to produce the cars. With our existing facilities, we will be doing contract manufacturing,” he added.

He said the company plans to raise funds before it can commence mass production in 2031.