KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Motors, the automotive arm of Sime Darby Bhd, has been appointed as the official exclusive distributor of BYD passenger electric vehicles (EVs) and is set to invest RM500 million in Malaysia in two years’ time.

Sime Darby Motors will bring the first BYD EV to the passenger market on Malaysian shores.

International Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said this strategic alliance bodes well for the development of the EV ecosystem through new dealerships and aftermarket services for this relatively new domestic segment.

“The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) hopes that such a collaboration will spur development beyond the distribution of EVs and into the manufacturing of critical components such as EV batteries, for which BYD is well known,” he said at the officiating launch of BYD in Malaysia by Sime Darby Motors in Bandar Malaysia on Dec 8.

Tengku Zafrul also said the government will continue to provide incentives for local assembly or manufacturing of energy-efficient vehicles including EVs, as well as component makers or OEMs, in order to stimulate investment and accelerate the development of the EV ecosystem.

In a separate joint statement, BYD and Sime Darby Motors said the RM500 million is to establish a wide network of BYD showrooms and also the charging facility to serve the country’s growing appetite for EVs,

“The first showroom is slated to open by mid-December 2022 at TREC KL at Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur.

“This will be followed by three more at Ara Damansara, Penang and Johor by the first half of 2023.

The statement said that by the end of 2023, with the support of dealer partners, Sime Darby Motors and BYD expect to bring the number of showrooms in the country to 20 and in 2024, the number will be doubled.

The Sime Darby Motors and BYD partnership is part of the automotive company’s commitment to accelerate the transition to EVs and a low-carbon mobility future for Malaysia.

“By bringing BYD’s game-changing EVs into the market, Sime Darby Motors is taking the lead to drive Malaysia’s EV ecosystem and support the nation’s development as a sustainable hub in the region.

“This also contributes to the expansion of BYD’s growing global presence,” said the statement.

Sime Darby Motors managing director Andrew Basham said that in line with its aim to be a leader in EV and with a view towards propelling Malaysia’s EV aspirations, the company is excited to embark on this new chapter with BYD following its success in Singapore.

“With half a billion ringgit set to be invested, this will support our aggressive expansion plans for the brand here and reflects our belief in the brand’s universal appeal.

“BYD’s line-up of world-class vehicles which feature premium specs at an attractive price point is set to be a game-changer to spur EV adoption among Malaysians,” he said.

The statement said the fully electric BYD ATTO 3, the first sport utility vehicle (SUV) built on BYD’s advanced e-platform 3.0, is specially designed as a high-performance EV, providing intelligence, efficiency, unrivalled safety and aesthetics.

“Possessing excellent battery range, BYD ATTO 3 can travel up to 480km on a single charge, allowing drivers to go further and save time on charging. Sporting a modern and clean design coupled with speedy, energetic and dynamic characteristics, BYD ATTO 3 truly raises the bar for the SUV segment,” it said.

The BYD ATTO 3 will be available in two variants, priced from RM149,800 for the standard range and RM167,800 for the extended range. - Bernama

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