Last week, the ministry of international trade and industry (MITI) revealed that Cyberjaya-based Dreamberd was chosen as the leading company for the new national car. The announcement was made by Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Darell Leiking, who said the company was chosen because it has a good business model that the government believes it can work.
"They have submitted their proposal to the Prime Minister and he is convinced that it is privately funded and is managed by DreamEdge experts," he said during the announcement.
Yesterday Tun Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that choosing DreamEdge as the anchor company for the new national car project was not his personal choice, but a government initiative, Bernama reports.
Mahathir was asked to comment on the statement by MCA President Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong that the government had lied about not involving public funds in the project. According to Wee, 53% of DreamEDGE shares are owned by VentureTech, which in turn is owned by a government company.
"It's already done, so I have nothing to say," he told reporters, referring to Wee's claim. As for the stock, he said he suspected that because DreamEdge does "a lot of things and seems capable," some government departments probably wanted to have a "piece of the cake," no more.
He reaffirmed that the new national car is needed, explaining that such an introduction should stimulate the auto industry in Malaysia, which has not done so well, and ensure that the country is not far behind. "So we have to make progress," he said.
Mahathir added that with the world moving away from normal internal-combustion engines to hybrids and electrics, the new national car has to go that route.
"If you want to have a third car, it might at least hybridize. That is, it has to be battery powered, but you have to run an engine to recharge the battery. And that would take the car maybe 1,000 miles. So we're going in that direction, "he explained.
Pointing out that the car business is not static, he said the project will also present the opportunity for Malaysians to learn. "The engineering industry has to deal with new development and now we use all kinds of automation devices, we talk to the car and we hear," he said.
DreamEdge, a cyberjaya digital engineering services company, revealed during the announcement last week that the as-yet-unnamed new national car model will be a larger-size B-segment sedan (initially referred to as a C-segment, and later corrected) equipped with regular ICE or hybrid mover. It will be built through a manufacturing contract, but the identity of the ensemble is not yet known.
The company said a model engineered capacity system will be unveiled later this month, and the first prototype would be unveiled in March 2020, with the final product scheduled for market introduction in March 2021. Daihatsu Motor Company wants to provide technology support for the program. , but it will not have any equality in the project.