Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Something on Bangkok, Travel, Malaysia and Top Gear style of travel

Hello folks! I have been busy vacationing this Id-ul-Fitr celebrations and was firstly at the Missus' kampung in Muar, Johor and then up north to Bangkok, Thailand. A fair bit of travel and R&R you may say but one has to actually travel to see more of our surroundings. With travel, one's point of view differs and with travel, one actually gets to see how things actually happen and what progress actually is. 

Take for example Bangkok. It is a heck of a city. Six million people within the city and another fourteen million in the surrounding area of Greater Bangkok makes it one of the busiest cities in the world. It is a mega-city, like Jakarta. It is slightly more organised than Jakarta in that there is more than a semblance of a public transport system with its Tuk-tuks, taxis, buses, water taxis and the rail transit system. But in a city with so many people, it merely helps instead of totally alleviate the massive traffic in Bangkok.

Sunday, July 19, 2015


Welcome back! This is the first posting after the 2015 Id Fitr celebrations in Malaysia. I'm technically still on vacation but I think it has been a while since we had a 100%  Motoring-Malaysia posting instead of just the news. Well, I suppose there was that 'Spotted For Sale' Alfa 4C, but of course, the more the better. So now's the time for us to state THE BEST JUNIOR HOT HATCH IN MALAYSIA that you can buy right now (July 2015 that is). According to Yours Truly here of course. This is because I have driven them all nd I do believe that it is my duty to tell you guys about it.

Number #5 - Volkswagen Polo GTI

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Volkswagen 'Balik Kampung' tips for this Raya holidays

It’s almost Raya. It's that time of the year again. Soon it will be time to get into our cars and balik kampung (even if the 'Kampung' is actually a short trip from Gombak to Kajang or from Butterworth to Balik Pulau). But before you get started on your journey, Volkswagen Malaysia would like to share some important tips to help you be a smart traveler. 

The top six tips Volkswagen have identified are:
  1. Take your car for a checkup
Ensure your ride is in tip top condition for a safe drive home.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Hyundai Sonata wins another award over in America - They seem to love it there

Recently, the Hyundai Sonata garnered another award over in America. AutoPacific is a future-oriented automotive marketing and product-consulting firm. Every year AutoPacific publishes a wide variety of syndicated studies on the automotive industry and this year, the Sonata wins the AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award for mid-sized sedans (yup, a D segment car is a 'mid' sized car over in the United States of America).

Now I sometimes do hope that such an award would translate to more Sonatas on Malaysian roads. They're certainly better than some Japanese D segment cars out there today. Of course, I also note that the interior of the USDM Sonata pictured below looks a little bit more luxurious than what we get here. I suppose it's that little bit of wood here and there which we don't get. It does lift the interior ambiance a tad bit in my opinion. Of course, there are those who do not like wood as it makes the car look uncle-like. Does it really?  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Pump Shell fuel this Hari Raya Puasa and help underprivileged children in Malaysia

This Hari Raya, every liter of fuel pumped at any Shell station in Malaysia on the 14th, 16th and 18th of July 2015, Shell will donate 1 Sen (RM0.01) to help change the lives of underprivileged children in Malaysia.

Contributions raised will benefit children under the care of five (5) selected charitable organisations. So do lend a helping hand. Nothing too strenuous or anything like that. Just head towards a Shell station, and fill in some petrol or diesel. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Spotted for Sale: Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition

This is the first Alfa Romeo 4C on sale in Malaysia. It is obviously brought in by a local A.P. holder and is steeply priced at RM550,000. The original price for such a car is about 45,000 Pounds Sterling. How 45,000GBP gets translated to RM550,000 is probably due to the fact that exchange rates are at 1GBP = RM5.80 and at least 200+% of excise duty. 

So would I buy such a car? Well, there is no official dealer or service center these days for Alfa Romeo. This means you would be at the mercy of a few specialty shops catering to the marque. This would be slowly declining too as eventually there would be less money to be made when there are less of the marque to go around. So after sales is going to be a pain.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Chevrolet opens their new Malaysia Parts Centre to better serve its customers

Chevrolet Malaysia has opened up a brand new Parts Centre here in Shah Alam. This should cater to the 24,000 people that have bought Chevrolet cars as at end 2014. Quite a number actually, considering that it is a fairly new brand. I suppose being in Transformers and Hawaii Five-O helps a little. Especially the Cruze, driven by a nice looking lady (watch the show and you'd know). 

Anyway, this isn't as interesting as the actual cars themselves. But now you know that there would be less downtime when you send in a Chevrolet as parts would be easier to access within Malaysia.


It is said that good road safety is the result of good road etiquette. Like we recently heard in that latest Spy flick, Kingsmen, where 'Manners Maketh Man'. Which is why well-trained and well behaved drivers are aware of the importance of being safe drivers will practice whenever they are behind the wheel.

One of the agencies in Malaysia that studies and promotes this is the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS), they are returning for the second time as a partner to the upcoming 2014/2015 Scania Driver Competitions (SDC) which will be held in October this year.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Tech: BMW Motorrad introduces Dynamic Brake Light systems for the EU/ECE - They should go global with this A.S.A.P

I do not usually write about motorcycles per se. Not a big fan of them but I do acknowledge their existence on the road and their purpose for being there. Maybe the larger bikes, but not the mosquito-like (read: irritating) kapchais on the road today. 

Anyway, this piece of news from BMW Motorrad is interesting. They have introduced dynamic brake light systems for some of their bikes -  R 1200 GS, R 1200 GS Adventure and S 1000 XR. The K 1600 GT, GTL and GTL Exclusive luxury tourers. Limited to the European Union and ECE areas for the moment, the dynamic brake light can warn drivers of vehicles following the bikes in a very clear and precise manner. 

Service your Hyundai and will an all-expense paid vacation to watch the WRC in Spain!

In conjunction with its current service promotion, Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) is organising a contest that will allow three lucky customers to win an all-expense-paid trip to Spain to witness firsthand how the Hyundai i20 performs at the upcoming World Rally Championship (WRC) in Tarragona, Spain. 

Volkswagen Malaysia establishes a Parts hub in Shah Alam

More good news for those who already use or are planing to buy Volkswagen cars. Volkswagen Malaysia has established a Parts Hub in Shah Alam. The new Parts Hub is an extension of the regional Volkswagen Parts Centre in Singapore (which explains why that when a part needs to be replaced, it may take longer than it should). The new centre has been operational since early this month.

Anyway, with this new Parts Hub, the obvious benefits would be a quicker turn around time for repairs and warranty claims. As it should be for any company that wishes to grow and expand as well as keep its customers happy.

Truck and Bus News: Volvo Trucks Opens Newly Upgraded Dealership in Prai

His Excellency Mr Bengt Carlsson (second from left) and Mats Nilsson (seventh from left) with Volvo customers Tanjong Express Sdn Bhd and Kumpulan Samastar Sdn Bhd, during the truck handover ceremony at the launch of the newly upgraded Volvo Prai dealership

The newly upgraded Volvo Prai dealership recently opened its doors to customers in the northern region, strengthening the brand’s presence in Malaysia and elevating its aftermarket support to a higher level. Officiated by the Ambassador of Sweden to Malaysia, His Excellency Mr Bengt Carlsson, Volvo’s Prai dealership upgrade follows the introduction of its two recently upgraded facilities in Sibu and Ipoh earlier this year.

Situated strategically in the Prai Industrial Zone, the new facility sits on a 2.9-acre land (11,7035 sq. metres) and has a built-up area of over 2,932 sq. metres (31,555 sq. feet). It now boasts 10 work bays and can service up to 15 to 20 trucks per day – a 50 percent increase in capacity. Other services available at this dealership include a wash bay, tyre alignment and balancing, mobile four-post lifter for preventive maintenance check, and the latest tools and equipment set-up to diagnose vehicles and conduct quality repair.


TOC Automotive College Founder & CEO, Adelaine Foo and TOC Training Director, Allan Cabiles exchanging MoU with representatives from Viva Global Education (VGE), witnessed by MATRADE CEO, Dato’ Dzulkifli Mahmud at Menara MATRADE in Kuala Lumpur 

Recently I received news from the good people of the TOC (The Automotive College that they were spreading their wings to Myanmar. Our homegrown automotive school had sign a MoU with Viva Global Education Sdn Bhd towards forming something called the Malaysia-Myanmar Institute of Vocational Training (MMIVT) in Yangon.

Viva Global Education will be partnering with Myanmar’s Ministry of Science & Technology to obtain an operating license for the MMIVT and Myanmar’s National Skill Standards Authority (NSSA) under the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security to establish competency standards and create training programmes endorsed by the NSSA.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015


Hello folks. I apologise for not posting anything over the past few days. I've been a tad lethargic this Fasting month. Anyways, Shell is offering all Malaysian car lovers the opportunity to enjoy the superior cleansing features of its Shell Helix range of synthetic motor oils for cars. Shell Helix’s consumer promotion is offering instant cash rebates, inclusive of GST.

Drivers will enjoy a RM30 discount with every purchase of Shell Helix Ultra with PurePlus Technology fully synthetic motor oil, and RM20 discount for Shell Helix HX 7 synthetic technology motor oil. The special cash discount promotion is valid until the end of July 2015. Drivers can enjoy the promotion at participating Shell petrol stations, workshops and spare part shops nationwide whilst stocks last.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Limited Edition Hyundai Elantra FL 1.6 Sport launched

Hyundai Sime Darby has decided to come up with a 999 unit limited run 1.6 Sport Edition of the recently facelifted Hyundai Elantra for Malaysia. They've taken the base Elantra FL 1.6 Elegance and added some make-up - a full bodykit, twin tail pipes, stickers and an upgraded infotainment system with a 6.2inch screen inside (instead of the normal audio system). It will be available in two colours - Creamy White and Phantom Black that would also come with the sticker/decal design that incorporates a barcode and a serial number that runs from 001 to 999 representing each model. 

Thursday, July 02, 2015


Not really into motorcycles, but I've decided to run this piece in order to help out Shell in finding new talents for the upcoming 2016 Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup. 

Opportunity for talented young riders to enter competitive road racing

Modern Classic Driven: 1992 Mercedes Benz 300SL-24

The 1970s and 1980s were a period where automobile development reached a certain peak. It was when manufacturers perfected the basic monocoque chassis based on the technology at that point of time. It was a pinnacle of sorts as we see manufacturers keeping the same model chassis for decades instead of the current practice of a new platform every five to seven years like most do today. We had cars like the Lancia Delta, born in 1979 and carrying on until 1995.

We had various generations of Volkswagen Golf Mk1 and Mk2 going on sale for over ten years concurrently in the 1980s and we had those Mercedes Benz cars like the W124 E-Class, the W126 S-class, the R107 SL-class and the R129 SL-class that came after the R107. These cars were deemed by their makers to be able to be in production for over a decade in terms of chassis design and only with changes to engines and equipment (to keep up with the times and electronic technology basically). It was a period of some stability in terms of automotive technology and it showed in the cars at the time.

News: you get to test drive Volkswagen cars at Jakel Mall every weekend of Ramadhan

KUALA LUMPUR, JUNE 26 – In conjunction with the upcoming Aidilfitri, Volkswagen Malaysia is offering test drives to visitors of Jakel Mall every weekend of Ramadhan. So, if you are visiting the mall, remember to drop by and experience any of the Volkswagen models such as the Polo, Polo Sedan, Jetta and Golf R. 

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Truck News: Volvo Trucks releases five new features for rough terrain

Volvo Trucks releases five new features for rough terrain

Volvo Trucks continues to improve productivity within construction by releasing another five new features, including Volvo Dynamic Steering for dual front axles and increased front axle loads. This further highlights Volvo Trucks’ special attention to the construction segment. 

Volvo Dynamic Steering reduces vibration and filters out bumps penetrating from the 
road surface to the steering wheel. Steering becomes smoother and lighter, making 
things easier for the driver and reducing the risk of work-related injuries to the neck, 
shoulders and back.


Press release


Bukit Jelutong, Shah Alam, 1 July – Scania CV AB has appointed the experienced Marie Sjödin Enström as the new Managing Director of Scania Southeast Asia.


Before starting on that trip to ‘balik kampung’ or even to the nearby supermarket, you can save 

yourself hefty repair bills or inconvenient breakdowns by doing routine and simple checks on your 

car’s health status. 

Car maintenance tips

Can you remember when you last sent your car for a scheduled service? Not many people can.

Whilst regular servicing of your car is important, there are also some simple checks that you can do to

ensure your car is in good condition before you hit the road: