Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The MG XS compact SUV unveiled

MG Motor UK officially unveiled its all-new compact SUV- the MG XS, at the London Motor Show. The new car is expected to arrive in dealerships in late 2017.

The MG XS will be available in two engine derivatives and either automatic or manual transmission.

According to Matthew Cheyne, Head of Sales and Marketing at MG Motor UK, the X in the name means extra and S stands for SUV. SO far, there is not much info available and full specifications, trim details and pricing will be announced later this year.

Customers can now pre-book test drives and pre-order model brochures via approved MG dealers.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

2017 BMW 530i M Sport now available in Malaysia

The new BMW 530i M Sport is here in Malaysia. Comes with a 4 inline cylinder 1,998cc petrol engine, with max output (kW/hp/rpm) 185 / 252 / 5,200 - 6,500 and top speed of 250 km/h. It features a 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission.


This is the seventh generation in the G30 5 series and the version here in Malaysia is imported Completely built up (CBU), priced at RM 398,800 (recommended OTR price without insurance).

The 530i goes for about €47,450 and €50,000 for the four-wheel xDrive version in Germany. That's about RM224,725 and RM236,800 respectively (as of today).

The same model costs about £40,120 in the UK - approx. RM224,205.

So comparing with home country prices, that a difference of nearly RM174000. Even with all the taxes, it does not add up.

Note that for CBUs import duty = 30% for CBUS (on Factory price)
Excise duty (1,998cc) = 80%
Sales Tax = 10%

Monday, April 24, 2017

Jaguar Land Rover debuts two new concepts at the Shanghai Motor Show

Jaguar Land Rover showed off two new concepts at the Shanghai Motor Show – the Range Rover Velar and the Jaguar I-PACE Concept.

Scottish singer Amy Macdonald wowed crowds with her hit song This is the Life at the launch of the Range Rover Velar.

The new Range Rover Velar be will be built exclusively in the UK using Jaguar Land Rover’s lightweight aluminium intensive architecture and powered by the latest UK-built Ingenium petrol and diesel engines.

The Jaguar I-PACE is Jaguar’s first electric performance SUV Concept.



Friday, April 21, 2017

Comparison of car prices in Germany, UK, USA and Malaysia

Most people know that cars in Malaysia are expensive and blame it on the import duties imposed by the Malaysian Government on imported models in order to protect the local car industry. However, I am a bit curious how they came up with prices for Mercedes Benz cars imported into Malaysia as Completely Built Up (CBU) units.

Let us compare the showroom prices of the Mercedes Benz E300 Coupé  in 4 different countries including Malaysia.



Germany (Home Country): 54,740 Euros (Approx. RM 257,950)

UK: £41,025.00 (Approx. RM 230,930)
US: $52,150 (Approx. RM229,355). Considered the entry level E class in the US.

Malaysia: (CBU only) RM458,888

Interestingly, the model is cheaper in both the US and the UK. It is the cheapest in the US, and most expensive in Malaysia among the four countries. Please let me know if the specs differ for the models sold in different counties other than the side in which the steering wheel is placed.

In Malaysia, import duty = 30% for CBUS. Please note that this is on the factory price and not the showroom price.
Excise duty (1,991cc) = 80%
Sales Tax = 10%

The price seems a bit inflated even with all the taxes in Malaysia. 

However, what is surprising is that last year Mercedes-Benz Malaysia posted an all-time record sales of 11,779 units. While other auto car makers are suffering, they actually  recorded an 9% increase in sales (10,845 units sold in 2015). In fact, Malaysia has the highest sales of luxury cars in ASEAN, much higher than either Thailand or Indonesia which has much larger populations.

This is amazing when you consider that the per capita income in Malaysia was about RM36,000 in 2015. Compare that with the per capita income in the US which was about  $30,240 (RM132,965) based on the US Census Bureau in 2015. This indicates that we cannot estimate the market size on overall population size or per capita incomes. It is very important to identify and examine your target segments. 

Note: Mercedes-Benz USA also recorded the highest annual volume in the Country's history at 380,461 units sold in 2015.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Proton Wira Project April 2017 update

Nothing major since the last update. However minor repairs and replacements:

1. Changed the battery.
I went with the Century NS70 Marathoner at Cartech Tyre and Battery Services at Taman Mayang Jaya, PJ. I trust Century batteries and the last one lasted almost 2 years before and I paid RM360 in toal include GST (- RM10 for the old battery). However, I later found out that I could get it for much cheaper on Lazada.

2. Changed the car alarm.
The central locking system started having problems. I initially thought that it was the battery and it worked after I changed the batter but soon started having the same problems a few days later. Tried to get the keys cloned but I could not find one in all the shops I went to - I tried around 4 in the PJ area including Brothers. So one day on my way to work, I stopped by an auto accessories shop Semenyih Auto Sdn Bhd in Semenyih and got the system replaced. Apparently my father had never changed it and the car still had the original box. Cost me 120 for the Enzor alarm set + RM 28 for a new horn (NP10 Siren).

3. Changed the carpets.
The car mats were pretty worn out as well and I got a rubber coir set cut and installed while they were doing the alarms. The damage RM180. I know of a few places where I could get it done cheaper but the hassle of going again to get the new floor mats done is not worth it.

4. Rear boot custom tray.
I had been going around without a rear trunk cover since I threw away the original one which had almost disintegrated. Finally found a Custom Fit PE Non Slip Boot Tray on Lazada which I bought for RM 96.9 with a discount voucher. It may be my imagination but noise inside the cabin seems to have reduced a bit since I put it in.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Lotus Evora Sport 410 GP Edition

British Sport's car maker Lotus recently unveiled the special edition of the Evora Sport 410 for the North American market. The new model comes in the D iconic Lotus team F1 colour scheme - the famous black and gold.

The Evora Sport 410 GP Edition will just be limited to an exclusive run of five vehicles.s $110,000.




According to Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc

“Last year we embarrassed rivals with a car that cost less but out-classed their best. This year the same rivals are in for a surprise. Less mass, reduced drag and greater downforce means the Evora Sport 410 is not only faster on the straight, but also when cornering. It is without equal, being both refined and intuitive, and again shows that we are making our best ever cars. The reaction to the Evora Sport 410 since its debut in Europe and Asia has been exceptional, and we know that our American and Canadian customers will really appreciate what this Lotus is capable of.”

Tipping the scales at just 3,020 lbs (1,370 kg), or 2,910 lbs (1,320 kg) with no fuel and lightweight options selected. The car uses the latest generation of Lotus’ aluminium architecture, which provides high torsional rigidity at a reduced weight as well as a comprehensive array of carbon-fibre components as standard. Covering the car front to back, they include the front splitter, revised front access panel, roof section, tailgate, rear quarter panels, and rear diffuser – all hand-made specifically for the car.

Utilising an integrated water-to-air charge cooler, the Evora Sport 410 is powered by a supercharged, 3.5-litre 6-cylinder engine, producing 400 hp at 7000 rpm and 301 lbft (410 Nm) of torque at 3500 rpm. The Evora Sport 410 comes as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, which features a low-inertia flywheel for rapid shifts, while a Torsen-type limited slip differential (LSD) provides greater traction, and faster exit speeds when cornering. The optional six-speed automatic transmission with dedicated ECU for ultra-fast changes allows sequential gear selection via lightweight aluminium paddles mounted to the steering wheel.

The driver can select one of the ESP driving modes – Drive / Sport / Race / Off which also utilise an engine exhaust bypass valve at mid-to-high engine speeds, increasing throttle response in both ‘Sport’ and ‘Race’ settings.

Other extras include lightweight 10-spoke forged aluminium wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres.


They have not ignored the interior design as well with optional colour coded interior components. The Sport’s seats are trimmed with Alcantara as standard, along with the steering wheel, lower dashboard, transmission tunnel and centre console. Customers can opt for the integrated touch-screen entertainment system with iPod connectivity and Bluetooth.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

The TAMO Racemo

Indian car manufacturers have come a long way. Just take a look at the TAMO (part of Tata Motors) Racemo, which was unveiled at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show.

The car is the first Indian fully connected sports coupe and it does look good but I wonder how it drives. The interior styling is not that bad either.







Not much info about the engine and other specs other than that it is built on a patented composite structure  which they call MOFlex Multi-Material Sandwich (MMS). According to the TAMO website, the car goes from 0-100 KMs/H in less than 6 seconds and has a the engine boasts of 190 PS @6500 RPM.

Will let you know when they come up with the release dates and prices.



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