Sunday, January 31, 2016

TRUCK NEWS: A bit on the recent large order of MAN TGS Trucks to the LTS Group

Hartmut Mueller, Managing Director of MAN Truck and Bus (M) Sdn Bhd (3rd from right) presenting a mock key to Lee Kah Chye, CEO of  the Lee Ting San (LTS) Group of Companies (3rd from left) to mark the handover of 70 units of MAN TGS prime mover to LTS. Witnessing the handover is Mohd Azharuddin Bin Mat Sah, CEO of Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat (SPAD) (2nd from right) and other board members of LTS.

I have to say that this must have been a coup for MAN Truck & Bus (M) Sdn Bhd (MTBM). One of the larger  transportation service provider in Malaysia, Lee Ting San Group of Companies (LTS Group), had recently purchased seventy MAN TGS 19.360, 4×2 prime mover intended for long-haul transport. MAN TGS will make up one third of the logistic specialist’s existing fleet of prime movers. 

The First Volkswagen Stand-Alone Body & Paint Centre Launched in Balakong

Volkswagen via their dealer Win Hin Autohaus Sdn Bhd has opened the first stand alone Body and Paint centre. This center is located close to the Win Hin 3S centre in Balakong, Selangor.  this centre covers services such as minor and major body repairs, chassis realignment, genuine parts, windscreen replacements, body spray and paintjobs while also assisting Volkswagen owners with their insurance claims. 

TEST DRIVE: Volvo V40 T5 Cross Country 2.0 - Probably the most refined premium hatchback in the market

Volvo cars have a long history in Malaysian motoring. They were one of the first European cars warmly embraced by the Malaysian car buying public. In the 1970s, 1980s and up to the 1990s you could see many of them plying our cities, towns and even villages. People who could afford a large sedan bought them for their size and safety. They were box shaped cars that many of those born in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s would remember as the car that their father, uncle, grandfather had and those were sweet memories of being in something safe and secure.

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Lotus Evora 400 is finally introduced to the Malaysian Market

First evora 400 customer key. From left - Head of Lotus Cars Malaysia YM Tengku Djan Tengku Mahaleel, Director of Group Lotus PLC and CEO of PROTON, Dato' Abdul Harith Abdullah, First Owner of Lotus Evora 400 in Malaysia, Mr Patrick Tam, and Chairman of Group Lotus PLC and PROTON, YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The Lotus Evora 400 has finally made it to our shores. A year after its unveiling at the Geneva Motorshow. Lotus Cars Malaysia introduced the Evora 400 at their showroom along Jalan Damansara. This car is the latest Evora with lots of improvements. Present at the launch was Chairman of Group Lotus PLC and PROTON, YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed. Also significant at the launch was the handing over of the key to the first owner of the Evora 400, Mr Patrick Tam and that Tun Mahathir himself drove off in a red Evora 400 (a replacement for the original one he had).

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Essential Tips to Stay Safe this Festive Season by FORD Malaysia and from Yours Truly

Ford Malaysia has sent me some tips for those of you who will be on the road this Chinese New Year season. I believe it is my duty to share the tips stated below. I also want to add these two tips:



Earlier today Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia officially launched the all new Jaguar XE sedan for the Malaysian market. This is the smallest, lightest and stiffest Jaguar sedan ever built to date and it is packed with many ground-breaking features. 

The most eye opening feature of this car is the aluminium intensive monocoque chassis. No other compact premium sedan is built this way for the time being. What this means is that the car is one of the lightest in its class and this in turn usually translates to great fuel economy and a car that is light on its feet, i.e it should handle well.

Truck & Bus News: Volvo Trucks Officially Opens its Largest Dealership to date in Port Klang

I attended the official launch of Volvo Trucks' latest and currently largest dealership in Malaysia on Tuesday, 26th of January. The event was launched by Mr. Bengt Carlsson, Ambassador of Sweden to Malaysia and attended by senior management of Volvo Group and Volvo Malaysia, customers, business partners and the media. I did write about this dealership a month or so ago but that was because that was to announce that the dealership was already open for business. It was only on that day that the facility was officially launched in a very grand way.

From left: Bengt Carlsson, Swedish Ambassador, Christophe Martin, President Asia Oceania, Volvo Group Trucks (in the middle) and Mats Nilsson, Managing Director, Volvo Malaysia getting ready to launch the opening of Port Klang flagship dealership

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Porsche unveils the Four Cylinder Porsche Boxster and Boxster S

PORSCHE have introduced the latest generation of their Boxster. Codenamed Porsche 718, the new Boxster and Boxster S is essentially the current Boxster/Cayman floorpan with some exterior upgrades, suspension upgrades and most importantly, smaller flat four engines which replace the flat sixes. Downsizing is again the order of the day.

Ferrari California T gets a handling upgrade option - HS for Handling Speciale

There are those that think that the Ferrari California T isn't a Ferrari that is sporty. Which is one reason why you don't see many around here in Malaysia. When it was first launched I suppose I would agree. These days, after Ferrari did a thorough revision and started calling it the California T, the car looks much better and drove better. Which is usually the case why someone buys a Ferrari in these parts most of the time. Now, the improved Cali is available with a more focused Handling Speciale (HS) option. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Spotted for Sale: 2006 Mahindra Scorpio 2.0 (M) - Now you can act out your Inspector Sahab dreams properly

This made in India Mahindra is actually pretty cool for the price asked - RM11,000. You get to act out your dream to be a Tamil movie policeman with one of these. Well, it's either you're Inspector Sahab or you're the evil rich landlord with a lot of henchmen that always seem to arrive in a few of these. Do you also realise that every Inspector in the Tamil movie is named Inspector Sahab? Of course lah, 'Sahab' actually means 'Sir'. A polite way to address a ranked police officer.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Proton's "It's In The Drive" Campaign - Test Drive & Win a Suprima S and other prizes

Alright folks. Proton Edar Sdn Bhd, distributor of Proton cars have launched their latest sales campaign. The 'It's in the drive' campaign begins today until the 31st of March 2016. 

This is a roadshow and also a test drive campaign. Malaysians with a valid IC and driving license are eligible to participate in the “Test Drive & Win” contest. This contest will be divided into two eligibility criteria. Customers can head over to any PROTON showrooms nationwide and test drive any Proton models, fill in the test drive form, answer several simple questions and participants will then stand a chance to win a weekly prize. To be eligible to win the Grand Prize, customers who have successfully booked their car during this campaign can stand a chance to win the Suprima S.Selected winners for the contest will have a chance to win weekly prizes which include a 42” LCD TV, electronic gadgets such as mobile phones and iPad minis worth about RM150,000 in total. At the end of the contest, a selected winner will win the Proton Suprima S premium variant for the grand prize.

Friday, January 22, 2016

TRUCK & BUS: Which is more fun to drive? A truck or a bus - Featuring the Scania G460 Truck & Scania Marcopolo Coach

Today I shall try to answer the very important question of whether a prime mover truck complete with a trailer or a bus is a better drive. I am sure this is one question that would never pop into the mind of most Malaysians. But just in case you happen to come into circumstances where the only means of transport is either a bus or a truck, this would answer your question.

A few months ago I was given the opportunity to try both by Scania at their Driver Competitions 2014/2015 at the Sepang Circuit. One was a Scania G460 truck and the bus was a Scania Marcopolo. I have to say that I truly love what I do and the opportunities I get. I mean, who gets to try trucks and buses at race tracks. This was my second excursion in a prime mover truck after I tried a Volvo FM series complete with a tanker load of 10 tons. On a race track in Thailand. Life is pretty interesting sometimes.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

What? Ford's seat fabrics used for clothing in Hong Kong fashion show. something that showcases the versatility of Ford's seat fabrics, the Ford Motor Company made its debut on the HKTDC Hong Kong Fashion Week runway today as part of The EcoChic Design Award 2015/16 grand finale show. Five outfits featured in the show were made entirely from the up-cycling of Ford’s sustainable seat fabrics, which are made from recycled plastic bottles.

"Manchester United For Life” Contest is Back with Chevrolet’s 2016 CNY Campaign

Good news! If you missed on the chance to win stuff in Chevrolet's 'Manchester United for Life' contest held last year you can try again. Chevrolet's authorised distributor, NAZA Quest Sdn Bhd is in a good mood due to the great response of last year’s Chevrolet “Manchester United For Life” contest. So even though the previous contest winner was just announced last December, the 2016 installment is back and a NEW lucky winner will be heading to watch the Manchester United vs. Everton game at Old Trafford on April 2, 2016.

Truck News: Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Commercial Vehicles post sales of 2,623 units for 2015

 Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Commercial Vehicles post sales of 2,623 units, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Vice President, Commercial Vehicles Albert Yee with the Mercedes-Benz Actros and FUSO FE83PG

Now a bit on some trucking news here in Malaysia. Mercedes Benz Commercial Vehicles, like their passenger vehicle arm, has done well in Malaysia for 2015. As the distributor of Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles and FUSO trucks, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia delivered to customers a respective total of 193 units and 2,430 units. In doing so, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has effectively increased its market share in Malaysia for both European and Asian truck segments. The 2,623 units sold represented a 5.5% increase in their overall sales over 2014.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Spotted For Sale: ANOTHER "Toyota AE86" that you never, ever wanted A.K.A ISWARUENO

Yup. This is another one of those 'AE86' that you never ever want. Like the previous one here, this is not a Toyota but it is another Proton Saga like the one I posted last time. It is actually bad enough that we see old two door KE70 Corolla Liftbacks with the Panda colour scheme and the words Trueno plastered on them but this, is exceptional. Ever heard of a ISWARUENO? Now you have.

The fella over in Kedah is trying to sell this 1992 Proton Iswara as a Proton Iswara 1.3 (M) AE86 Initial D. Fuiyoh. 

Motor Image launches the facelifted 2016MY Subaru XV in Malaysia

(from left) Jun Yong, Emcee of the day; Andrew Lee, General Manager, Motor Image Malaysia; Reza Mutalib, Executive Director, TC Subaru Sdn Bhd; Monika Sta Maria, 2015 Asia's Next Top Model runner up and Subaru Brand Ambassador

Motor Image, the authorised distributor of Subaru in Malaysia launched the facelifted Subaru XV sometime around brunch time today (that's breakfast and lunch time to you folks out there).  The MY16 or model year 2016 Subaru XV features the following improvements that I've laid down below.

New by MINI - The MINI Clubman ALL4

We have a new XL sized MINI variant out. Based on the MINI Clubman but it now has all-wheel drive.  Now we can attack wet mountain roads the way we would use an Audi RS3, Mitsubishi EVO or a Subaru WRX in a MINI. The petrol powered COOPER S Clubman ALL4 version gets a 2.0liter turbocharged with  192hp / 280Nm with either a 6 speed manual or 8 speed steptronic automatic transmission. Needs more power if one wants to chase after the Audi, Mitsu, Scooby mentioned above though. A JCW version should obviously follow soon yes?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

TEST DRIVE: 1,000km in a Volkswagen Polo 1.6 Hatchback (Polo Trophy Limited Edition spec)

Long ago, but not too long ago, about early March or April 2014 actually, I was handed the key to the locally assembled Volkswagen Polo 1.6 Hatchback which I promptly tested and reviewed. It was a very accomplished hatchback. I did enjoy its well though out simplicity and I thought that it was one of the most pleasant sub RM90,000 car that Malaysian Ringgit could buy at that time. This time, that same model has now been around for a while and many are seen plying the Malaysian roads.

The Mk 6 Polo has been in its current form since 2008. Of course, by now Volkswagen had face lifted the car as it has been around for a while. Malaysia got the face lift sometime mid last year. And this face lifted Polo Trophy Limited Edition was what I managed to get my hands on. The face lift adds some redesigned bumpers (front more noticeable than the rear), a new Blaupunkt touch screen infotainment unit (which looks better than the one with the tiny LCD readout with a few lines on it) and a new steering wheel (that looks like the one used in the current Golf TSI). 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Proton Test Fired Their New Euro 6 Compliant Engine - Scheduled for production end 2017

Earlier this evening Proton had announced what they have been doing in terms of drivetrain research. They also had the first firing of its latest engine (seen somewhere below, in the jumble of wires and stuff), a 1.5liter Turbocharged Gasoline (Petrol) Direct Injection engine that can produce 180hp and 250Nm torque (this is what is tested and can safely make. What is on the final cars have yet to be specified). Nice figures considering that it is also Euro6 compliant. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Ford Malaysia announces their new promotion offers in line with the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations

Now is quite a good time to buy a new car. Manufacturers are getting into the mood of giving as Chinese New Year is just around the corner. Ford and local distributor Sime Darby Auto Connexion (SDAC) today announced the ‘Ford CNY Promo’ to kick off Chinese New Year celebrations.

Volkswagen Sri Hartamas 3S Centre opens for business

Earlier today, Volkswagen Malaysia through FA Wagen Sdn Bhd officially opened their latest service centre located in Sri Hartamas. The centre, spanning over 30,000 square feet over three floors has a showroom on the top two floors and a service centre on the lower ground that has 8 work bays to handle most after sales matters for Volkswagen vehicles. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Twenty Nine 3S & 4 S SUZUKI dealership outlets are now converted as PROTON Edar outlets. - With Analysis

In line with the Proton and Suzuki MoU and License Agreement that was signed last 15th of June 2015, All the twenty nine (29) Suzuki 3S and 4S outlets will be outlets which will have both the PROTON and SUZUKI logos. This was made official after the signing ceromony where most of the outlet operators entered into this new arrangement with Proton.

Proton Chairman Tun Dr Mahathir flags off the cars bound for the new Proton Suzuki 3S/4S Centers.

Shell Helix Motor Oil promotion for the Chinese New Year - Ang Pow galore

For the Chinese New Year, Shell Helix motor oils have a promotion running from now till 29th February 2016 (It's a leap year this year). With every purchase of a 4 liter pack of Shell Helix Ultra, Shell Helix HX7 or a 4liter / 3 liter pack of Shell Helix HX5 passenger car motor oil you can get instant rewards in the form of Lucky Ang Pows containing cash vouchers or free fuel vouchers. 

Motorists can receive these Lucky Ang Pows in two ways.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How a Perodua Axia can sell for RM231,000 over in Singapore.

So the latest thing to go viral is the story about how the Perodua Axia, in RM41,000 specification is sold for RM231,000 or SGD 75,000 in our good old neighbouring Singapore. 

Firstly - it's actually abit lesser now. By a measly two thousand Ringgit due to the current exchange rate of SGD 1 = 3.0578 MYR. But who the heck cares. It does cost RM230,000 due to the weak as hell Ringgit. 

industry news: Volkswagen Group's delivers close to ten million units for 2015

The Volkswagen Group handed over 9.93 million vehicles to customers worldwide in 2015. This is still impressive particularly in view of the continued challenging market situation in some regions as well as that diesel fiasco in the final quarter of 2015. Note that in 2014 the group sold over 10.1 million vehicles. 


TC Euro Cars, who sell Renault cars in Malaysia has started the ‘Usher in the New Year with 5 Prosperity Blessings’ sales campaign on the Renault Fluence. The salecampaign highlights the ‘5inFluence’ aftersales and maintenance package, which offers best-in-class aftersales deals (I don't think I've actually seen any other car company in Malaysia including as much actually). This package deal is available for all Fluence variants (actually two - the Fluence Expression and the Fluence Dynamique) sold in Malaysia, the worry-free ‘5inFluence’ package includes:

2015 is a Record Year for Ford in Malaysia

Ford today announced 2015 retail sales in Malaysia of 12,130 units, driven by an all-time record year for the Ford Ranger pickup.Ford finished the year strong as December sales rose seven percent from the previous month to 889 units. The class-defining Ranger remained Ford’s best-selling vehicle in Malaysia, and the country’s second-best-selling pickup truck overall in 2015, with full-year sales rising seven percent year-over-year to 9,231 units.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Genesis G90 - Hyundai's latest, and greatest flagship

Hyundai has unveiled the Genesis G90. This big boy is Hyundai's luxury flagship that is sold under the separate Genesis brand. The G90 will be competing at the top of the premium luxury car segment with the likes of the BMW 7 Series, the Mercedes Benz S-Class and the Lexus LS400. 

Test Drive: 2015 Renault Fluence Dynamique

Sometime during the end of December 2015 I was handed the key to a Renault Fluence Dynamique. I wasn't really sure it was a key as it basically looked like a fat credit card or one of Victorinox's SwissCard that had a knife, magnifier, toothpick and some other stuff. But it actually was the key as it had buttons on it and you could slot it into the center console of the Renault Fluence and start it up. With a press of a start-stop button. This is a good thing because this was the flattest key I have ever seen and it would fit in my card holder or in my pocket and not make the pocket bulge. Keys should be like this (see the pic below).

Monday, January 11, 2016

Spotted for Sale: 2003 Toyota Alphard 3.0 (A) MZG - The affordable truck/bus/van/window van for you

Last Saturday I had afternoon teh tarik with my friend Zairul. We had just gone around test driving one of the cars I had managed to procure for the weekend. So whilst we were discussing the merits of the car of the week we of course sidetracked to various other motor vehicle discussion and debate. As you know, people carriers are actually good for one thing only. People carrying. 
So the other day a colleague of him drove to work a Toyota Alphard. It belonged to the guy's brother and he had to pick it up as the owner had to be elsewhere. It was a 3.0liter Toyota Alphard and was fully loaded with all sorts of creature comforts. Now when he first entered the barge of a Toyota, my friend Zairul thought that the barn was a 5 year old Alphard as it looked immaculate. It wasn't. It was a 2004 model and therefore one of the first that was imported (by some local AP dealer) into Malaysia. The colleague's brother bought the moving bungalow for RM70,000. 

Truck News: Daimler Trucks sells more than 500,000 units in 2015

BharatBenz, FUSO, Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner (from the left to the right): With its truck brands, Daimler Trucks is present on all continents.

We're hearing more record sales worldwide for most manufacturers, especially the Daimler group (which includes Mercedes Benz). Their truck division had sold over half a million units in 2015 and even in a difficult economic condition. 

The newest Mercedes Benz E-Class has been previewed

E400 AMG

Mercedes Benz has just released complete details of the new tenth generation E-Class premium sedan (Codename W213). Ten generations of mid-sized business class sedans. Has it been that long? I suppose it has since Mercedes Benz is actually the oldest producer of horseless carriages around and these mid-sized sedans have been the staple for most in the corporate world and an aspirational car for some. 


So what does the latest E-Class offer then?

Friday, January 08, 2016

Supercar News: McLaren delivers more than 1,650 cars in 2015, another record year in sales for them

McLaren Automotive, the British producer of luxury sports and supercars, ended 2015 with another record year. A total of 1,654 cars were delivered to customers across 30 markets.  The global demand for the range of McLaren Automotive cars, especially the recently-launched Sports Series, has driven the need for a second shift at the world-class McLaren Production Centre and the immediate recruitment of 250 skilled production team members. 

Hyundai previews the Hyundai IONIQ next generation hybrid and electric vehicles

Hyundai had recently revealed to the media details of their IONIQ next generation hybrid/electric vehicles. The full Hyundai IONIQ range will feature a choice of electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid powertrains, which according to Hyundai is a world first for a single model. At the unveiling in Soouth Korea, details were shared for the first version to come to market – the IONIQ hybrid.

PROTON Edar is carrying out its Chinese New Year promotion for after sales services packages.

Proton have announced their SAFETY PROMOTION for after sales service packages at all their service centers in anticipation of the upcoming Chinese New Year Festive celebrations. This includes a FREE 30 point Inspection at all their authorised service centers, 20% off on selected spare parts for all Proton cars and special fixed price service package for out of warranty cars.

The promotion is ongoing and will run to 31st March 2016.


Record Sales Figures for Mercedes Benz in 2015

It has been a very, very, very good 2015 for Mercedes Benz Malaysia. The brand with the three pointed star delivered a total of 10,845 units to its customers. This is 56% up from 2014 (6,932 units) making 2015 an extremely memorable year for Mercedes Benz here in Malaysia. 

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia delivers 10,845 units to customers in 2015. (from left) Mercedes-Benz Malaysia President and CEO, Dr Claus Weidner, and Vice President, Sales and Marketing Passenger Cars, Mark Raine, with the S400 Hybrid.

Renault will maintain its prices for 2016 here in Malaysia & a bit on the Renault Fluence

Renault in Malaysia will still be sold at the same prices for 2016. This is what TC Euro Cars, distributors for Renault in Malaysia have announced. Whilst you may have read other car manufacturers announcing price increases, Renault are staying firm with its current prices. 

 Renault price list for 2016 is as follows:

Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia launches 2016 Range Rover Evoque facelift

Jaguar Land Rover (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (JLRM) has launched the facelifted enhanced 2016 version of its best-selling model, the Range Rover Evoque. To date, JLRM has sold over 1,600 units of the Evoque since its local launch at the end of 2011. And this year, the Evoque now comes with more new features, which also tell us that Jaguar Land Rover does continuous improvements towards their products. This keeps them fresh and it also keeps people like me excited to continue writing about them.

For the model year 2016, Range Rover Evoque’s cutting-edge exterior gets updates which include a new front bumper and grille design, Xenon headlamp with new LED signature daytime running lights (DRLs), rear lamps with signature DRLs that match the front, fog lamps, and tailgate spoiler with discreetly integrated third brake lights that emit even light distribution.