MYTHBUSTED: IS REDUCTION IN CAR PRICES POSSIBLE? JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 PP 314/05/2013 (032387)
AN OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION OF MALAYSIA AUTOMOTIVE SCENE CAN MALAYSIA KEEP UP WITH ASEAN? PEUGEOT 208 NEW FRENCH BEAUTY TESTED AAM TOUR - PERHENTIAN GET AWAY TO AN ISLAND PARADISE LED STREETLIGHTS MALAYSIAN ROADS GO HIGH-TECH
AAM’S TRIFECTA OF UPGRADES A LOOK AT BETTER THINGS TO COME
REDISCOVERING TAIPING, THE ART OF SPEED, MASTERCLASS WITH FELIPE MASSA, MAZDA6, HYUNDAI SONATA VS. SUZUKI KIZASHI, LAMBORGHINI SUPER TROFEO, AND MANY MORE!
EXCLUSIVE: F1 HOPEFUL AFIQ IKHWAN’S FIRST EVER INTERVIEW MARCH 2013 PP 314/05/2013 (032387)
AN OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION OF MALAYSIA
AAM TOUR - KOREA THE LAND OF MORNING CALM
GODESTINATIONS MASTERING SEPANG
ALMERA REINCARNATION OF THE SUNNY
TRENDING TWO BLINKS THANK YOU
SEPANG INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT
THE BEST IS ABOUT TO GET BETTER with our all-new digital edition.
LAUNCH OF LAMBORGHINI AVENTADOR LP700-4, LEXUS LS, MINI ONE, HONDA NEW R&D CENTRE,BMW INNOVATION SHOWCASE, AND MANY MORE.
AND THE BEST OF IT ALL
From everything about wheels and tailored specially for the “everyday person”, and almost anything with wheels and a motor. You’ll get all the excitement of print, and so much more, in our new digital edition.
IT’S AVAILABLE ON APP STORE, ANDROID PLAYSTORE, WINDOWS AND KINDLE
Start enjoying GoDrive AAM on your iPad today. Go to the App Store and seach for “GoDrive AAM”. Download our digital version and discover all that you love about cars and motors come to life on your screen. Also available on:
For all these platforms:
/// GODRIVE AAM • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
TABLE OF CONTENTS ///FEATURES
10 AAM’S TRIFECTA OF UPGRADES 18 GODESTINATIONS: TAIPING 28 RAGING BULLS 36 GO BIG! 50 THE MALAYSIAN AUTOMOTIVE SCENE 56 MYTHBUSTED: CAR PRICE REDUCTIONS AAM UNVEILS NEW CHANGES FOR 2013
REDISCOVERING THE RAIN TOWN
LAMBORGHINI’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY
HYUNDAI SONATA VS. SUZUKI KIZASHI
THE FUTURE OF MALAYSIA’S AUTO INDUSTRY
SHOULD YOU BELIEVE THE HYPE?
AAM’s base of 300,000 members makes GoDrive AAM Magazine perhaps the most circulated automotive publication in Malaysia, but that does not mean we take things easy. We embrace the pressure to do even better with each passing issue, for the benefit of all our readers, AAM members and non-members alike. We’re all motorists too! ON THE COVER: AAM FLEET & RESPONSE TEAM AT THE BRAND NEW AAM AUTOMOTIVE CENTRE (AAC)
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
/// GODRIVE AAM • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE 2013
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PEUGEOT 208: THE NEW FRENCH DARLING
FROM THE CEO’S DESK
AAM’S TRIFECTA OF UPGRADES
GO BIG! HYUNDAI SONATA vs. SUZUKI KIZASHI
ROADSIDE EMERGENCY SERVICES
AAM TOUR: PERHENTIAN ISLAND
58 64 67
FERRARI F12 BERLINETTA
NISSAN ALMERA NISMO
MINI COOPER S PACEMAN
MALAYSIAN AUTOMOTIVE SCENE
MYTHBUSTED: CAR PRICE REDUCTIONS
BMW F 700 GS & F 800 GS
AAM ROAD SAFETY: ADVANCE DEFENSIVE DRIVING COURSE
AAM SAFETY: CHECK ENGINE LIGHTS
AN AFTERNOON WITH FELIPE MASSA
FEATURED MEMBER: DATO’ HAJI AHMAD BIN HAJI SA’ADI
SUPER TROFEO ROUND 2
NISSAN ROAD SURVIVAL WORKSHOP
BETTER LIGHT AT NIGHT
PORSCHE 911 CARRERA 4S
CELEBRATING ART IN AUTOMOTIVE CULTURE
INDUSTRY LEADERS: DATO’ WIRA HJ SM FAISAL TAN SRI SM NASIMUDDIN
HYUNDAI SANTA FE
WHAT COMES AFTER WYY9999?
NEW SUZUKI SWIFT SPORT
AAM PROMOTIONS: JULY 2013
AAM SAFETY: CHILD SAFETY SEATS
2013 AUTOBAC SUPERGT SERIES ROUND 3
RAGING BULLS: LAMBORGHINI 50TH ANNIVERSARY
AN OFFICI AL PUBLIC ATION OF THE AUTOMOBILE ASSOCI ATION OF MAL AYSI A
DOING ONE BETTER, ONE ISSUE AT A TIME FROM THE FIRST GODRIVE AAM ISSUE BACK IN DECEMBER 2012, OUR GOAL WAS TO PUBLISH A QUARTERLY MAGAZINE EVERY MEMBER OF AAM CAN BE PROUD OF, BE A SIGNIFICANT VOICE IN THE AUTOMOTIVE SCENE, AND TO DO BETTER WITH EVERY NEW EDITION. efore one can swim, one must learn to float. From our humble beginnings, we have studied and watched in awe how other local automotive publishers flex their creative muscle, coming out with great issues month after month. A year later, it is a great pleasure to note that while most of them became not only our role model, but also good friends in a close-knit group that support each other in an exciting phase of the Malaysian automotive industry. Going into our third issue, we are extremely buoyed by the positive feedback from AAM members as well as industry pundits. We received constructive feedback too, which we have carefully considered and incorporated into this new edition. We now have new contributing writers from within AAM and the public with unique insights into our industry. AAM too has a lot of new and exciting developments featured in this issue; a testimony to their aggressive rebranding and restructuring exercise. AAM’s base of 300,000 members makes GoDrive AAM Magazine perhaps the most circulated automotive publication in Malaysia, but that does not mean we take things easy. We embrace the pressure to do even better with each passing issue, for the benefit of all our readers, AAM members and nonmembers alike. We’re all motorists too! As mentioned in the past issues, we invite you to make this magazine your own. We welcome any suggestions, feedback or even articles you would like to contribute to our future editions. After all, GoDrive AAM stands firm on its philosophy to be the voice of every motorist. Also, if you’re not already a member of the AAM, please feel free to explore the many features, services and perks of being an AAM member and take this opportunity to sign up. The value of the membership far outweighs the fee of RM75 per year… that’s only 20 sen a day for unsurpassed peace of mind on the road!
AS ALWAYS, WE WISH YOU HAPPY READING & SAFE MOTORING!
EDITORIAL TEAM AAM Wan Zaharuddin Wan Ahmad EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Melinda Ngew EDITORIAL ADVISOR Raja Hilmy Raja Idris ASSOCIATION LIAISON CREATIVE Hafiz Idris CREATIVE DIRECTOR firstname.lastname@example.org Chan Phin Phin PHOTOGRAPHER email@example.com Aaron Gatapia GRAPHIC DESIGNER firstname.lastname@example.org Loo Joo Ann WRITER email@example.com MARKETING & SALES Chandra Ramasamy SALES DIRECTOR firstname.lastname@example.org Azmy Abdullah SALES EXECUTIVE email@example.com MANAGEMENT Izzul Ahmad Kamar MANAGING DIRECTOR firstname.lastname@example.org Vinod Nair BRAND MANAGER email@example.com Imran Clyde MARKETING DIRECTOR firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Travis Chang Kenneth Sow Karan Dhillon N. Sanjeev PUBLISHING PARTNER ERSB (934424-w) 1227, Level 12, Block A3, Leisure Commerce Square, Jalan PJS 8/9, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor T: +603. 7865.8882 F: +603. 7876.1886
EDITORIAL DISCLAIMER Whilst we take every care to ensure all details are accurate in every content of GoDrive AAM magazine, the Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM) assumes no responsibility for any consequences arising from content errors and omissions. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the writers and/or contributors are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of the AAM. Publication of an advertisement or a product feature does not imply that the service or product is endorsed by the AAM, unless stated otherwise.
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
PRINTER KHL Printing Sdn Bhd (235060-A) Lot 10 & 12 Jln Modal 23/2 Kawasan MIEL Fasa 8 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan
UNSURPASSED VALUE IN AAM MEMBERSHIP
IN A SPAN OF TWO YEARS, AAM HAS INCREASED ITS MEMBERSHIP; PASSING THE 300,000 MARK AND STILL COUNTING. NOW, WITH OUR RESTRUCTURING AND RE-BRANDING EFFORTS STARTING TO BEAR FRUIT, WE ARE INDEED OPTIMISTIC OF BETTER THINGS TO COME FOR AAM AND ITS MEMBERS.
We have achieved so much these last few years. Not only have we strengthened our team of dedicated and highly trained staff, we have also replaced and increased the number of rescue vehicles in our fleet. The new acquisition includes over 25 new motorcycles, 10 vans and 5 flat-bed carriers. Our main depot at AAC in Batu Caves supported by rescue unit depots in Serdang and Klang in addition to Shah Alam Headquarters are in the midst of getting fully equipped with the latest hardware. Placing our technical support team strategically on the fringes of Kuala Lumpur; including our HQ in Shah Alam, we are now able to reduce the response time for members within and around Klang Valley that represents the bulk of our received distress calls in the central region. Our collaboration with PLUS has also seen the Workshop-On-Wheels (WOW) being successfully implemented in stages along the North-South Highway. WOW is indeed a pioneering project where minor repairs on vehicles are now being carried out at the breakdown scene at a minimal cost without having to tow to the nearest workshop. Soon, more of our ancillary services such as the application and renewal of motor vehicle road tax, insurance and licenses can be performed online through the convenience of our website; in addition to the now available service of online booking for hotels, flight tickets and transportation for members who plan to travel both locally and abroad. If we take the Ordinary and Basic membership fee of only RM75 per year as an example, this equates to a mere RM0.20 a day to secure the most experienced and professional year-round breakdown coverage in Malaysia as well as unsurpassed peace of mind. Not forgetting, the AAM membership transcends its benefits to approximately 133 of our affiliates in over 120 countries too. In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the priceless commitment, dedication and contribution from each member of the AAM team. Indeed, our greatest asset is our staff; and, I am proud of how they have helped AAM to turn around and achieved so much in a relatively short period of time. I am thus confident that this team will continue to grow and stay ahead of the challenges for the benefit of our AAM members. With this, I wish you a pleasant reading and a blessed holy month of Ramadhan for all our Muslim readers. Yours sincerely,
Y.M Tunku Datuk Mudzaffar bin Tunku Mustapha Chairman, Automobile Association of Malaysia
AAM NEWS : FROM THE CEO’S DESK
FROM THE CEO’S DESK HELMING THE RAPID TRANSFORMATION OF AAM SINCE 2010, MADAM MELINDA NGEW HAS BEEN A FERVENT PROPONENT OF TOP-NOTCH SERVICE CULTURE WITHIN AAM. HERE, SHE SPEAKS TO US ABOUT HOW AAM IS PROGRESSING WITH ITS MODERNIZATION PROGRAM AND WHAT IT MEANS TO ITS 300,000 MEMBERS.
AAM HAS THRIVED FOR OVER 80 YEARS AND IS MALAYSIA’S SOLE MOTORING BODY SANCTIONED BY THE FÉDÉRATION INTERNATIONALE DE L’AUTOMOBILE (FIA). WHAT CAN YOU ATTRIBUTE TO AAM’S LONGEVITY? AAM’s longevity is by no means a coincidence. We credit our achievements to four main pillars that have supported us since 1932. Firstly, we are the first and only body able to claim a solid 80-year track record for offering Malaysian motorists 24/7 road assistance and peace of mind. Secondly, AAM is also the governing and regulatory body for all Motorsports in the country. Thirdly, we have been blessed with a truly committed and passionate committee and a loyal long-serving workforce in our rescue units across 20 branches nationwide. The final pillar is our unbeatable number of national and international affiliates, including the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), Commission Internationale de Karting (CIK) and the Alliance Internationale Tourisme (ATI). Our strategic affiliations allow AAM members to enjoy global access to similar services on a reciprocal basis with 133 affiliates in 102 countries. AAM HAS BEEN GOING THROUGH A ‘TRANSFORMATION PLAN’ SINCE MID-2010. PLEASE SHARE WITH US WHAT STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN AND WHY THEY WERE IMPORTANT TO AAM AND ITS MEMBERS. The main difference is that now, AAM has its own headquarters at the Laman Seri Business Park in Shah Alam. Previously, the HQ was always in a rented premise. This is something we are all very proud of; to have our own home. The next strategy was to implement Key Performance Indicators (KPI) across the organization. This involved extensive housecleaning on our resources and placing an effective governance system in place. The main areas we targeted are human resource, distribution channels, sales and marketing to improve AAM’s revenue to a point of sustainability. A professional trainer cum HR has been engaged to put in place a stronger team. Scheduled theoretical and practical training programs (skills & CRM) for all AAM staff and its subsidiaries are currently being carried out too. In reality, house cleaning is a process that takes a lot of commitment, time, effort and continuous monitoring to ensure our objectives are
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
met. Reporting systems were introduced for business accountability, meetings were conducted regularly to assess progress, annual budgets became guides for all HODs, and we brought in experienced managers from the corporate sector to boost the capabilities and capacity of our operations.
will be able to interact with AAM on a wider range of services e.g. sign up or renew membership, renew motor and non-motor insurance policies, renewal of drivers license, set up appointment for car care services, book our special tour packages, shop on our AutoSmart shop online retail store and more.
A LARGE PORTION OF AAM’S BUSINESS IS IN PROVIDING ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE. WHAT SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE TO IMPROVE THIS CORE SERVICE? Firstly, we have upgraded our call center from the convention to a flexible system that markedly improved our speed and efficiency in handling distress calls from AAM members.
THE “PINK LADY” IS PERHAPS THE MOST STRIKING DIFFERENCE IN AAM TODAY. WHAT INSPIRED AAM TO FOCUS MORE ON WOMEN MOTORISTS TODAY? Today, we hear many cases of tow-truck assistance scams and crimes happening on our roads. In reality, women drivers have much more to fear as they are most vulnerable to these dangers when faced with a car breakdown scenario. At times like this, it is only logical for them to rely on people they can trust. It’s important for all women to put their safety and security on top priority.
We have also expanded our main depot at AAM Automotive Centre (AAC) in Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur, and set up another 2 rescue unit depots in Serdang and Klang. These depots are equipped with response-team tow trucks, vans and motorcycles. It is our view that with these 3 strategic places around the Klang Valley in addition to the support provided by Shah Alam Headquarters, we can respond to distress calls faster, especially for calls from Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur which makes up a big percentage of our calls. To reach our customers’ breakdown locations quickly, we must have ready and reliable rescue vehicles. Thus, in the past 2 years, AAM has been in stages replacing its fleet and increasing the number and types of rescue vehicles. In 2011, AAM acquired 15 new Honda EX5 motorcycles and 6 Proton Arena cars that make up our quick response team. In 2012 and 2013, we have ordered 5 new flat-bed carriers, 6 new vans and 10 new motorcycles. With our membership steadily increasing past the 300,000 mark, we have plans for more asset procurement in 2014 to meet the demands of our customers. Most of our customers today want convenience and simplicity. Recognizing this, we have recently launched our new website. Over the next few months, we will be adding more features to our website for our members’ convenience. We have also started our email-blast system to keep members abreast with the latest news, promotions, updates and reminders via email. AAM IS A BRAND THAT’S BEEN AROUND FOR OVER 80 YEARS. WILL THE RESTRUCTURING EXERCISE ALSO INVOLVE SOME FORM OF BRAND REVAMP? Of course, in line with our restructuring, we have to create a sense of change and excitement for our members and the public too. We have been working hard at innovating our marketing collaterals and activities to reach out to the younger target audience. Our Mass Comm and Business Development units have been expanded in line with our new business strategy. We are now aggressively targeting corporate accounts and mass membership subscriptions, as opposed to our one-to-one retail membership sales efforts before. Our Member-Get-Member (MGM) program has contributed significantly to our membership recruitment drive.
Our answer to this is the Pink Lady, a unique pink PeroduaMyvi in our fleet. Ladies who have signed up for our AAM Elite Femme membership can enjoy more benefits as compared to our ordinary members, like on-the-spot minor repairs, an accident care program, accidental reimbursement, coverage against snatch thefts, being chauffeur-driven to your doorstep (in the Pink Myvi) , hotel accommodation in the event of breakdowns and accidents, etc. Furthermore, AAM technicians come in recognizable AAM trucks and uniforms, leaving no room for doubt that these are our professionals attending to them. This unique membership is at an affordable RM130 per year, which is a small price to pay for professional service and peace of mind. BEING A NON-PROFIT NGO, HOW DOES AAM CONTINUE TO OPERATE, MODERNISE ITS FLEET AND REMAIN COMPETITIVE, AND BE A SUSTAINABLE ENTITY? Prudence in management and spending. We prioritize spending on items that will benefit and provide added value for our members. As I mentioned earlier, we have spent a large sum of funds to upgrade our assets and staff. As our membership numbers continue to grow, the revenue from membership fees (and other ancillary services) will enable us to expand further. FINALLY, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS AND VALUED MEMBERS OF AAM? In a nutshell, with all the new strategies and changes taking place, AAM will once again be the people’s “#1 Motoring Partner” in line with our corporate mission, and maintain its lead in emergency and breakdown road assist services throughout Malaysia. The motoring community can be assured that our uniformed staff are well-trained and disciplined, and motorists can have peace of mind, taking into consideration the social issues on the roads and security of their vehicle during such unfortunate distress situations.
IT’S HARD TO SHAKE OFF THE PERCEPTION OF AAM AS SOLELY A “BREAKDOWN ASSIST” OR “TOW TRUCK SERVICE” PROVIDER. HOW WILL AAM MARKET ITS MANY OTHER SERVICES AND MAKE IT MORE ACCESSIBLE TO ITS MEMBERS? We have added a new E-Business unit to drive our other businesses (AAM, ATP, AMS & AAC) through web technology. Soon, members 9
AAM NEWS : AAM’S TRIFECTA OF UPGRADES
A BETTER FLEET THAT’S FLEET OF FOOT As the industry leaders in car safety, we are only too aware of the importance of using vehicles that are in top condition. In leading the charge, AAM has recently added 6 brand new Proton Arena vehicles to support our road rescue services. Furthermore, AAM has also added 15 new motorcycles to our fleet. These motorcycles are not only handy for getting to you in traffic jams, but they are also equipped to provide minor on-the-spot repairs to save you time and hassle.
AAM UNVEILS NEW AUTOMOTIVE CENTRE, NEW FLEET AND BRAND NEW OFFICE PREMISES IN 2013 NEW INTEGRATED OFFICES FOR SEAMLESS SERVICE AAM is extremely proud to announce the acquisition of new and improved office premises. The new AAM office is located at the Laman Seri Business Park, Shah Alam, with the new building consisting of five floors. The premises will accommodate the new AAM Headquarters, along with the AAM Travel Planners, our travel agency, as well as the offices for AAM Motorsports.
Monday - Friday : 9am - 5pm 225, Block 4, No 7 Persiaran Sukan Saturday : 9am - 1pm Laman Seri Business Park Section 13, 40100 Shah Alam Selangor Darul Ehsan T: +603. 5511 1932 (General Line) F: +603. 5511 2519 E: email@example.com
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
A ONE-STOP CENTRE FOR ALL YOUR AUTOMOTIVE NEEDS In an effort to provide better service to its customers, AAM proudly unveiled its brand new AAM Automotive Centre (AAC) at the Batu Caves Industrial Park in Selangor. Sprawling across a vast 43,560 sq ft, it is a comprehensive one-stop centre providing mechanical repairs and maintenance for all types of vehicles. Built at a cost of RM2million, the centre comprises of a Body and Paint Centre as well as a Service Centre, both equipped with nifty state of the art equipment.
BODY AND PAINT CENTRE
• Equipped with a computerized chassis alignment machine • Accurately measures vehicle dimension before, during and after repair • Also equipped with two spray oven booths • Only relies on quality paints for paint jobs
THESE ARE THE SERVICES WE PROVIDE
Reverse the effects of unfortunate accidents with original parts, modern equipment and trained mechanics that will fully restore vehicle’s safety structural integrity and road worthiness qualities. Modern computerized systems make insurance claims a breeze!
PANEL BEATING & SPRAY PAINTING
Erase minor dents and touch up fading exteriors to give your car an all-new look. The 60-car capacity centre uses the best PPG automotive refinish products and such is their confidence, offering a one-year warranty on vehicle repainting.
MAINTENANCE SERVICE & REPAIRS
Save time with express lubricant services or send in your vehicle for major repairs, tyre services, wheel alignment and balancing and more. This well-oiled centre caters up to 35 vehicles at a time.
CAR AIR-CONDITIONING SERVICE & REPAIRS
Cool down with a comprehensive suite of services that care for your vehicle’s air-conditioning system, all the way from diagnosis to prevention, service, maintenance and repair.
EVALUATION & INSPECTION SERVICES
Buying a new car? Bring it in for an exclusive evaluation process that involves a complete and detailed check of the vehicle. You’ll KNOW it’s the right buy when they say it is.
TECHNICAL ADVICE & ASSISTANCE
From membership enquiries and on-the-road emergency assistance to legal advice pertaining to various motoring concerns, get all the pertinent information you need right here.
SERVICE CENTRE • Available for service, diagnose and repair jobs
• Equipped with six scissors hoists and a two-post hoist • Experienced and professionally-trained technicians • State-of-the-art computerized engine diagnostic equipment • Quality tools to perform engine tuning and repairs
Among the thoughtful services provided is the Accident Care Programme, where personnel from the nearest AAM call centre is immediately dispatched to the scene to assist and provide members with guidance in the event of an accident. They will also ensure that members are protected from being bullied by unscrupulous tow-truck services and independent workshop operators. OPERATING HOURS: Mon –Fri : 9.00am to 5.00pm Saturday : 9.00am to 1.oopm (Closed on Sundays & Public Holidays) 03-5511 1932 (General Line) 11
AAM SAFETY : ROADSIDE EMERGENCY SERVICES
FACTS ABOUT ROADSIDE EMERGENCY SERVICES WHAT CAR & INSURANCE COMPANIES OFFER - AND IS IT ENOUGH TO REPLACE AAM’S SERVICES?
THERE’S A LITTLE ‘MYTH’ GOING AROUND… WE WON’T DENY IT. MANY ARE SAYING IT. NOW THAT MOST INSURANCE PROVIDERS AND CAR MANUFACTURERS PROVIDE ROADSIDE EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE FOR THEIR CUSTOMERS, SOME ARE QUICK TO THINK AAM’S SERVICES ARE REDUNDANT.
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
But just how accurate is that presumption? Once upon a time, AAM was the sole provider of breakdown assistance on Malaysian roads. Proudly sporting an AAM sticker on a car meant the owner was wise and prepared. Truth be told, many non-members thought they were wiser saving money by not spending on something they didn’t need. That is, until they find themselves stranded and helpless (touchwood!). We truly commend insurance companies, highway operators and car manufacturers for providing value-added services for their customers. After all, they share the same wishes we have; to provide motorists (that’s you) with enjoyable and safe driving experiences. Of late, some members cited that AAM’s services are no longer relevant, claiming that they are already covered by their car brands and insurance policies. It’s a valid point, until you dig deeper. AAM-less or AAM-pressive? Let’s get down to business, shall we? For a start, AAM is more than just a roadside breakdown service provider, but you can read more about that on page 12 of this issue. To give you a better idea on what kind of roadside breakdown assistance AAM offers that others don’t, let’s take three real life examples of car breakdowns and compare AAM services with that of two other car manufacturers.
The Verdict Is Yours Myth-busted... to a point. Although car manufacturers and insurance providers are admirable in their efforts to provide ancillary services, emergency roadside services are simply not what they specialise in. It’s what AAM specialises in. AAM has been around for more than 80 years and it continues to upgrade and improve its services for its members. That’s why it has not only an entire fleet of professional mechanics and modern tow trucks on standby; it also has a purpose-built Automotive Centre, insurance facilities, advance defensive driving courses and more. Also in the works is a dedicated medic response team, especially for major highways. However, should you spend 365 days motoring within your car brand’s or insurance policy’s service coverage zone and never face issues that aren’t covered, maybe you’ll be just fine. But if ‘maybe’ doesn’t cut it for you, then come and be part of Malaysia’s premier motoring association. With AAM membership fees starting from RM75 per year (that’s only 20 sen per day!), you’ll enjoy complete peace of mind with more exclusive perks only AAM members are entitled to.
Now, go ahead and adorn that famous AAM badge on your car today. You know you want to.
AAM TOUR : PERHENTIAN ISLAND
THE STATION ISLANDS
Dreaming of lazing on sandy white beaches, sipping a tropical drink in the shade or getting a perfect sunkissed tan, or diving in the crystal clear turquoise water into a different realm of a rich and amazing underwater wonderland? Forget the faraway Caribbean islands, Mauritius or even Bora-Bora. We have a tantalizingly beautiful tropical island gem right here in our own backyard.
Pulau Perhentian was the island R&R (rest & relax) where weary sea-faring travellers and fishermen stopped over for a breather or to seek shelter from the storm in days of yore. Aptly named as ‘henti’ means ‘stop’, it was translated into English as The Station Islands during the British Colonial times and was still named such on many maps until the turn of the 20th century. Pulau Perhentian Kecil (Small Perhentian Island) and Pulau Perhentian Besar (Large Perhentian Island) make up the Perhentian Islands. The islands are still relatively pure and untouched, with only a small fishing village in Perhentian Kecil while a number of budget hotels and chalets dot the beach landscape especially in Perhentian Besar. Imagine the beautiful island paradise that greeted the exhausted merchants and fishermen. Imagine how refreshed and rejuvenated they must have been while recharging their energy at this stopover. Well, imagine no more as you should get out there to experience the beauty of this enchanting island for yourself.
The fecund virgin forest on Perhentian Island reeks of adventure and excitement for nature lovers. Discover interesting little insects and if you are quiet enough, you may spot animals like the harmless monitor lizards, the shy mousedeer, magpies, macaques and flying foxes (giant fruit bats) just to name a few. 14
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
You may even catch a glimpse of the Nicobar pigeon as they stop over for an R&R at the island during their migration, just like the merchants and fishermen of days gone by! There are no roads in the islands and the only way of getting from here to there is by hiking through the jungle trails or taking a sea taxi. Well, you could take the path less travelled and swim to your destination too if you’re in an adventurous mood. Just kidding!
BOUNTIFUL TURQUOISE SEA
Pulau Perhentian is a marine paradise and forms a part of the National Marine Park of Malaysia. Enter into an enchanting world as you immerse yourself in the crystal clear waters teeming abundantly with life. Snorkelling or scuba diving alike, you will be enthralled by the many tropical fish and colourful corals and the plethora of marine life. And if you are lucky, you may even see some small sharks and green turtles swimming along with you! Boasting of 18 awesome dive sites all around the island, Perhentian definitely ensures that snorkelers and divers will be kept busy and happy. There are 2 wrecks here that are truly fantastic dives. The Sugar Wreck is a an 80 meter cargo ship that sank while bearing a load of sugar, is now home to a massive abundance of marine life. The Vietnamese wreck is closer to the island and is covered with nudibranchs and gorgeous soft
corals. Another 2 dive sites not to be missed are the Tokong Laut and Terumbu Tiga where you can see corals of all shapes and colours as well as swim-through tunnels, reef and leopard sharks and hawksbill turtles.
SOFT WHITE BEACHES
The soft sandy beaches of Perhentian Island offers endless pleasure for everyone. Sand play and building sandcastles are fun for the young ones as well as a great family bonding activity. Beach soccer and volleyball also appeals to the teens and the young at heart. The more adventurous may enjoy kayaking or windsurfing and pull off a stunt or two. For those who wish to see the green turtles laying eggs on the beach, try your luck by stopping by Perhentian Island between June to late August.
DREAMY SWEET SPOT
Romanticism is ever present in this vacation sweet spot as Perhentian Island is also popular among couples on their honeymoon getaway. Endless picturesque sceneries, pristine white beaches and crystal clear sea make Perhentian the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and to enjoy the splendour of nature. Many lovebirds and holidaymakers of all ages enjoy their picnic on the beach as they appreciate the alluring sunset view, which seem to be airbrushed with every shade of an artistâ€™s palette.
GETTING TO THE STOP
In general, whether you are flying, commuting, driving, hitchhiking or horseback riding, get to the Kuala Besut jetty by hook or by crook. That is the only main entryway into the island, by speedboat.
Pristine white beaches and crystal clear sea make Perhentian the perfect place to escape... and to enjoy the splendour of nature. Prior to that, you could fly to the Kota Bharu airport from KLIA Kuala Lumpur, LCCT Kuala Lumpur or Subang Airport/ Penang using MAS Airlines, Air Asia or Firefly respectively. From Kota Bharu airport, you have the option of getting to Kuala Besut jetty by taxi (RM78 per car), Limo (RM180 per car) or mini van (RM30 per person). The speedboat journey from Kuala Besut jetty to Perhentian Island takes about 30-40 minutes and is available from 9am -5pm. Departure is based on demand, not schedule; the boat leaves when there are enough passengers. The 2-way fare is RM70 for adults and RM35 for kids aged 3-11 years old. One way fare would be RM40 and RM20 respectively. 15
AAM TOUR : PERHENTIAN ISLAND
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
INDUSTRY NEWS : LED STREET LIGHTS
BETTER LIGHT AT NIGHT NEW LED STREETLAMPS PROMISE A CLEARER AND SAFER JOURNEY ALONG WITH BIG ENERGY SAVINGS
ight driving always comes with the hazard of low visibility. While we’ve made progress over the years in terms of streetlamps, they still consume a large amount of electricity and don’t quite hit the mark yet in terms of the brightness and clarity they offer. In our homes, compact-fluorescent-light (CFL) or commonly known as energy-saving lights have replaced most of our traditional power-hungry bulbs for three main reasons; brightness, durability and power savings. Already, this technology is quickly being replaced by LEDs for the same reasons. However, the costs of LED lamps are still relatively high and the savings from energy consumption alone can take approximately 3 years to cover back investment costs. All that is changing quickly as more LED producers are racing to lower the costs of this technology. On the streets today, we can already see LED streetlamps in action along the Federal Highway and selected roads in the Klang Valley. Some motorists have even likened it to the brightness of the famous Singapore racetrack at night! A Malaysian company, HM-Illumination, recently introduced a new LED alternative to the current sodium-vapour lamp that is being widely used. Their new LED streetlamps, which come in a snazzy new Mirinae design can produce exactly the same amount of light output as a normal street lamp but with almost 60% less power consumption.
This would mean that a 160-watt LED street lamp is able to replace a 400-watt normal sodium vapour street lamp. Additionally, the new LED streetlamps will illuminate in a more natural whitish colour as compared to the dreary orange-yellowish lights (or in technical terms, 2800k colour temperature) that we are used to. LEDs also offer a better viewing clarity of the road, making the road look livelier and more natural. The colour temperature of the LEDs are 5000K, much closer to the early afternoon daylight we are used to, thus making it optimal for outdoor application. Together with anti-glare technology, it gives drivers enhanced overall comfort. Utilising a new CREE-XML chipset, it is also able to provide a lifespan of approximately 100,000 hours, which is 5 times the lifespan of current sodium-vapor street lamps, while also offering 5 times less maintenance costs comparatively. Although the initial set-up costs are higher than sodium-vapor lamps, the long terms benefits certainly outweigh the cost. Herman Ong from HM-Illumination said, “While our LED streetlamps have only been installed along Jalan Kuala Selangor at KM33 so far in Malaysia, its use will be extending to most highways throughout Malaysia soon. These LED streetlamps are already widely used in countries such as South Korea (covering almost 70% of its roads), along with Thailand, Nigeria, and China.”
He also pointed out that Malaysian & international street lighting standards need to achieve a minimum brightness of 2.0cd/m2 (candela per meter square) for major roadways, with a standard pole height of 12 meters and pole-topole distance of 38m. Streetlamps in Malaysia has higher quality requirements, given the harsh weather conditions here. We at GoDrive certainly think this is welcome news for Malaysians, as the use of such innovative green technology will serve to not only help keep our country greener, but also make our roads safer.
LED STREETLAMPSQUICK FACTS Lifespan 100,000 hours; 5 times the lifespan of sodiumvapour lamps Power Consumption 60% less than sodium-vapour lamps Colour Temperature 5,000K (natural daylight) Energy Savings 308 watts per streetlamp replacement Energy cost savings RM539.62 per lamp unit per year
GODESTINATIONS : TAIPING
REDISCOVERING TAIPING by Loo Joo Ann
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
Born and bred in Taiping but residing in Kuala Lumpur now, I do miss my hometown a lot. Everything just seems better at the place where you grew up in, from the schools to your favourite hangouts to the best comfort food, don’t you agree? Allow me to reintroduce this lovely town to you, including insights to some unknown gems and the path less travelled.
PEACEFUL RAIN TOWN
Made famous by the highest recording of rainfall every year, Taiping is the wettest town in Peninsular Malaysia. The average annual rainfall is 2,000mm – 2,500mm in the whole Peninsula while Taiping’s average alone is about 4,000mm! The abundance of rain has seen to a fertile plethora of plants especially the world famous century-old rain trees in the Taiping Lake Gardens. 120 years old, to be exact. Taiping is also one of the oldest towns in Malaysia with many ‘firsts’ to its name. ‘Tai ping’ in Mandarin translates as ‘eternal peace’, but the town was anything but! Formerly known as Larut, it was wrought with deadly clashes between the Chinese secret societies that worked the lucrative tin mines in the 1800’s. The British intervened and took control of the town in early 1870, and Taiping as we know it today was officially established in 1874. Colonial influence is strongly evident in the imprints in Taiping especially beautiful architectures such as the colonial bungalows and administrative buildings.
No visit to Taiping is complete without experiencing the beauty of this oldest and most beautiful public garden in Malaysia for yourself. of sentinels that brought fame to the lake gardens are the 120-year old rain trees (Samanea saman); they line the road that encircles the garden, their sturdy branches stretching gracefully across the road, seeking to caress the waters of the lake like long-lost lovers. Blissfully serene indeed.
+4° 50’ 57.05”, +100° 44’ 51.36” Keep a lookout and see if you can spot some interesting local wildlife too. Hornbills have been seen at the lake gardens but they are more common up in Maxwell Hill. The long-tailed macaques are very common in the gardens and they will gladly parade around for spectators while waiting for hand outs of snacks. The Dusky Leaf Monkey (Spectacled Langur) is less common and very shy, hiding up in the trees feeding on leaves. They are all black with white markings on the eyes resembling spectacles, but their babies are completely bright orange!
CENTENNIAL SENTINELS Synonymous with this town is the stunning Taiping Lake Gardens which has become the iconic symbol of Taiping. It was originally a tin mining ground before Colonel ESF Walker decided to turn the old mining ponds into a lake garden in 1880. And the rest, as they say, was history. No visit to Taiping is complete without experiencing the beauty of this oldest and most beautiful public garden in Malaysia (recognised by the government in 1996 through the cleanliness and beautification programme) for yourself. A haven of tranquillity with calm peaceful waters and lush greenery against a backdrop of misty hills, the Taiping Lake Gardens gracefully welcomes a never-ending stream of joggers, tourists, paddle boat fun-seekers and besotted couples on their pre-wedding photo shoots. The striking yellow Acacia flowers and sweet purple Jacaranda flowers carpet the grass that they fall on, making a colourful backdrop for pretty pictures. The awe-inspiring row
the oldest zoo of the country, nestled in the midst of the lake gardens itself. Currently housing 1,300 animals of more than 180 species, the first zoo in Malaysia has grown from its humble beginnings to become one of the most important zoos in the country with a Night Safari too. Near natural environments for the animals are ensured instead of being caged up all the time. Attempts to breed the animals have been very successful and this has seen the proliferation of animals like the Malaysian Tiger, Lion, Seladang, Siamang, Deer, Nilgai, Night Heron and many others. The best time to see the animals are during feeding times anywhere between 10:00am and noon.
+4° 51’ 17.29”, +100° 45’ 4.99”
IN EVER LOVING MEMORY OF…
ONE OF THE BEST-MANAGED ZOOS The calm and quiet of the lake gardens at the break of dawn is punctuated by the calls of various animals, coming from
On the way to the foot of Maxwell Hill, there is a Taiping War Cemetery on either sides of the road. Far from the usual spooky graveyards, this immaculately maintained War Memorial looks like a beautiful garden and is an attraction for many shutterbugs. It came into presence after the defeat of the Japanese during World War 2, and it was to centralise the numerous graves at battlefields, temporary burial grounds at villages and other civil cemeteries so that permanent maintenance could be possible here. The plots of Christian graves lies on one side of the road while Muslim and Gurkha graves are across the road. More than 500 out of the 850 graves here belong to unidentified war casualties of yore.
+4° 51’ 32.49”, +100° 45’ 25.96”
GODESTINATIONS : TAIPING MAXWELL HILL/ BUKIT LARUT
Maxwell Hill is the oldest hill resort in Malaysia, with an altitude of about 1000m with temperatures ranging between 15°C to 25°C. Accessible only by Land Rovers driven by seasoned local drivers who effortlessly manoeuvre the steep reclines and hair-pin turns, the journey is as heart-stopping and adrenaline-rushing as a roller-coaster ride, and even more so during the downhill trip! At the hilltop there are various colonial bungalows and a rest house to provide a simple relaxing and refreshing getaway. The journey takes about 30 minutes, while another option is to hike up all the way and that takes an average of 3-5 hours. Nature buffs will love jungle-trekking and camping here too. If you are staying the night, a trek at the break of dawn to the highest peak at Bukit Hijau is warranted for an amazing sunrise view and to experience the Malaysian rainforest at its best (read: leeches, mosquitos and wild boar encounters if you are lucky!)
able to get 2 meals worth here for what you pay in the Klang Valley or elsewhere! There is also a famous prawn noodle stall here called Salleh Stall Mee Udang, where the prawn sizes can go up from small to humongous according to your preference. The noodles are either soupy or fried, your choice. I tried both and by golly, I love the fried noodles with the biggest juiciest freshest prawns ever! Just ask the locals for directions to the stall once you reach the town. It is just along the main road towards the end of town anyway. Warning: do not be beguiled by copycat stalls along the way!
+4° 50’ 8.91”, +100° 37’ 44.45”
+4° 51’ 37.39”, +100° 45’ 39.41” CONNECT WITH COOL NATURE Taiping is rich in natural surroundings, being close to the Bintang Mountain Range, and hence a thriving resource of rivers and streams and natural freshwater pools. The Burmese Pool (+4° 51’ 14.72”, +100° 45’ 38.21”) is one such pool and the most well-known one in Taiping, whereas Austin Pool (+4° 52’ 8.71”, +100° 45’ 27.05”) is less crowded due to the slightly longer hike on foot to get there, but the pool is narrower and deep. Local kids can sometimes be seen doing daredevil diving stunts from the stone ledge above the pool! I’ve only attempted it twice but no stunts; I just braved myself and plunged in like a log! So rich is Taiping in natural mountain freshwater that Coronation Pool, the first swimming pool in Malaysia, is still in operation as a public pool and the water is fresh mountain water channelled directly from the mountain streams. Good for those who wish they were smaller, as everything shrinks once you jump into the icy cold water!
+4° 51’ 37.96”, +100° 45’ 33.80” PORT WELD @ KUALA SEPETANG
About 40 mins drive away from Taiping town is the thriving fishing village of Kuala Sepetang, still fondly known as Port Weld by many. People flock here for the fresh seafood available at the many little restaurants around here, or they wait patiently for the fishing boats to come into the docks to get the first pick of the marine bounty. Price wise, you may be 20
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
The best curry mee in the world (in my humble opinion) is also found here, in another simple unassuming roadside stall, but sorry to note that this is non-halal. The soup is thick and flavourful, the little prawns are so fresh and tasty, and the best ingredient is the little cubes of congealed chicken or pig’s blood! Sounds yucky indeed, but this is one of the types of food which you either love, or hate - there’s no grey area here!
+4° 50’ 17.60”, +100° 37’ 42.37”
You could hire a fishing boat for a joy ride out into the mangrove swamp, looking out for migratory birds or for a fishing trip if you are an enthusiast, or visit a floating fish farm. If you are nice to the fishermen they may even let you try your hand at scooping cockles from the muddy river bed using a long pole with a metal cage-like appendage at one end. Not a task for the flimsy, I can attest to that!
+4° 50’ 15.33”, +100° 37’ 38.50” IGLOO CHARCOAL KILNS
Do drop in at one of the many Charcoal Factories at the edge of the Kuala Sepetang. The charcoal industry of Matang started in the 1930’s and you wouldn’t want to miss such a precious experience rarely found elsewhere. The igloo-shaped kilns all in a row are a sight to behold. The kilns are the ‘ovens’ used to burn specially selected mangrove timber into charcoal. Measuring approximately 7 meters in diameter and height, each kiln is built from red bricks plastered with a mixture of clay and very fine sand. The wood is stacked vertically inside the kiln and the kiln is then sealed up, leaving a small gap at the door to feed in firewood and a few small gaps like windows to release the smoke and heat. The burning takes 12-17 days and an expert worker determines the completion of burning just the smell and colour of vapour emitted from the kiln. The kiln is totally sealed up for the cooling down period. The whole process of charcoal production takes up to a month at a time.
+4° 50’ 17.45”, +100° 38’ 13.19” For the nature enthusiast, be sure to check out the Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve before you leave Kuala Sepetang. It is the largest mangrove reserve in Malaysia, established since 1902. A well-
maintained boardwalk allows an intimate walk through the mangroves, allowing sights of trees, ferns and shrubs in the swamp. The lucky or quieter few may be able to spot monkeys, bats, otters and snakes too!
+4° 50’ 25.84”, +100° 38’ 9.05” EATING SPREE / FOOD HUNT
This is the best part of being in Malaysia. Good food everywhere you go! You just need to know where to look, and I’m gonna let you in on the best gems in Taiping! Do not miss Ansari’s Famous Cendol located along Jalan Barrack. Operated by the third generation now, the cendol here is soft yet springy, the palm sugar syrup and fragrant santan makes this sweet and creamy dessert absolutely tantalizing especially on a hot day. Opt for the ‘kosong’ (plain) version or add kacang (kidney beans) and pulut (glutinous rice) for some extra bite and oomph!
+4° 51’ 11.04”, +100° 44’ 19.86”
Taiping is famed for its popiah, so you should really have a go at it. While most visitors flock to Tai Chien kopitiam (+4° 51’ 9.93”, +100° 44’ 29.31”) for its renowned popiah, I personally love the one at Restoran Air Kacang Soya (+4° 51’ 1.63”, +100° 44’ 30.71”). Why not try both and you be the judge of which one is better? A breakfast favourite is the tasty Chee Cheong Fun with red sweet sauce. It is different than the more common Penang style chee cheong fun which is served with brown sauce. The best Chee Cheong Fun in town is a stall in the Pusat Penjaja Taiping, an al-fresco food court just behind the Taiping Fire Station.
+4° 51’ 0.99”, +100° 44’ 35.80” Another breakfast haven is Restoran Kakak on Market Road. You’ve got to try the “kai see hor fun” which is basically chicken noodles – strips of chicken meat in soupy kuey teow. Slightly different than the Ipoh ones, it tastes equally good if not better.
+4° 51’ 7.41”, +100° 44’ 25.62” An unassuming little bakery dishes out delicious bread and cakes. The stream of steady buyers snaps up the baked goods as they are placed on the racks of Ipoh Bakery, so glancing at the shelves, one may think that the bakery looks like it doesn’t have much to offer. Think again! Business is so brisk that even the “roti men” on overladen motorcycles park outside the shop to partake in serving the overflow of customers.
+4° 51’ 12.09”, +100° 44’ 22.85” There is an old-timer Hainanese kopitiam in Taiping that serves halal Hainanese food. Yut Sun Restaurant which spans across 4 generations, is a favourite of all races and the unity of Malaysians can truly be seen when it comes to food! Some of the signature items here include the Hainanese Chicken Chop, Beefsteak, Mee Hailam, Roti Sayur and Incikabin, among others.
Should you feel hungry for a bite in the wee hours of the night when the whole town is fast asleep, there is one particular ‘makan’ place that does not! No, it’s not a fast food outlet but authentic local food. Open 24 hours a day, this place truly lives up to it’s name, “Siang Malam”. It is actually part of the market but come nightfall, the food stalls remains open for business til the next morning. Favourites here include the home-cooked nasi lemak, fried kuey teow, chee cheong fun and yong tau foo.
+4° 51’ 3.57”, +100° 44’ 25.46” While you are out and about foraging Taiping for these gems, here’s a sincere wish that you will fall in love with quaint Taiping, the way I did.
+4° 51’ 10.64”, +100° 44’ 29.07”
Grilled chicken wing lovers must hunt down this stall inside Restoran Taman Tasik, which is an al-fresco food court facing the lake gardens.
+4° 51’ 3.52”, +100° 44’ 44.58” A humble home-based Siamese Laksa stall has been my favourite since young. Located in Kamunting, they also serve Hokkien Mee for those who prefer something less spicy.
+4° 52’ 50.47”, +100° 43’ 47.47” If you wish to savour the wide array of mouth-watering hawker food all available under one roof, head over to the Casual Market on Jalan Panggung Wayang. Have a feast indulging in delicious street fare like char kuey teow, mee rebus, fried oyster, ice kacang and the not-to-bemissed authentic Taiping nyonya kuih. Feasting starts from breakfast and all day through till supper!
FAST FACTS ABOUT TAIPING Located in northern Perak, Malaysia. Second largest town in Perak (after Ipoh, the state capital) ‘Tai ping’ means ‘eternal peace’ in Mandarin. Also known as Rain Town, Heritage Town (Bandar Warisan). The wettest town in Peninsular Malaysia. The average annual rainfall is about 4,000mm in Taiping , while the peninsula’s average is 2,000mm – 2,500mm. Taiping has 33 “first in Malaysia” under its belt, some of which are:Lake Gardens, Zoo, Perak Museum, Hill resort, Railway Station & line, Hospital, Swimming Pool and Airport!
+4° 50’ 58.50”, +100° 44’ 25.87” 21
GODESTINATIONS : TAIPING
Taiping Clock Tower, built in 1881
taiping OUR RIDE TO
Suzuki Malaysia Automobile Sdn Bhd (SMA) lent us the keys for the latest Suzuki Swift for this edition of GoDestinations. We had loads of fun with this award-winning Swift. It has a 1.4 litre VVT engine that feels more powerful than its number suggests. Driving on the highway was very comfortable and it was even better going through the smaller trunk roads, thanks to its well-tuned suspensions and handling. With a full tank of fuel (approx. RM60, RON95), the Swift’s meter showed we had a range of 490km. Our roundtrip to Taiping covered 692km, and we clocked an average fuel consumption of 17.7 km/litre which is pretty impressive. At the former Taiping Airport
Many have suggested that the “new” Swift looks exactly the same as the old one. After a side-by-side comparison, we like what Suzuki has done; refine a design that is already popular. Also, don’t be fooled by its looks, as it proved to be spacious enough for 3 adults and 2 kids, and the luggage! The Swift is available in GL and GLX variants from RM67,811.50. For those with the need for speed, check out the new Swift Sport featured on page 41. Lurking among the mangrove timber
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
AAM SAFETY : CHILD SAFETY SEATS
ARE THEY IMPORTANT?
Many Malaysian parents are still unaware of the importance of child safety seats when travelling in the car. Babies on mum’s laps and toddlers frolicking in the backseat of moving vehicles are still frighteningly common. If only these parents knew that car crashes are the leading cause of death among children. Statistic speaks volumes. An average of almost 2 children below 12 years old were killed and 325 injured each day in car crashes in 2010. Child safety seats can reduce the risk of a potentially fatal injury for babies and also for toddlers, provided they are installed correctly and fits the height, weight, and age of the child. In the United States, car seats are compulsory by the law for all children under 65 pounds (27.2 kg), and infants too. * Facts and statistics from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) USA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) USA.
CHILD SEATS AND BABY BASSINETS
TYPES OF CAR SEATS
There are various types of car seats and booster seats generally suited for the different age groups. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines on suitability and weight of child for each individual seat.
BIRTH TO 2 YEARS
A rear-facing child safety seat (or a bassinet for infants) at the backseat of the car offers maximum protection and should be used for babies until they are at least 2 years old.
2 TO 4 YEARS
Once your child has outgrown the size limits for car seats in the rear-facing position, the next safest option is a forward-facing seat secured in the back seat of the car. Note: Seats built just for rear-facing should never be used in a forward-facing position.
4 TO 8 YEARS
When your child outgrows the forwardfacing car seat, he or she can now progress to a booster seat in the back seat of your car, and buckle up safely with your car’s lap-and-shoulder seat belts. There are high back booster seats and backless booster seats, and they both elevate your child to a position to be safely restrained by the car seat belts.
RENTING IS THE BEST OPTION Buying a car seat may not be an affordable option for many. Prices are quite steep for these items and your child may soon outgrow it and you’d need to upgrade to the next suitable car seat. Fret not, there are rental services available from AAM for bassinets and car seats, and you can easily upgrade from one category of car seat to the next according to your child’s growth, saving money as you do so.
INDUSTRY NEWS : ART OF SPEED
Celebrating Art in Automotive Culture
#Stance #hellaflush #slammed #lowered #dumped #cambered #euro #godschariot #devilsride #jdm #muscle #rumblecrew #dropped #Sexybikes #choppers #oneoff
by N. Sanjeev “BurnOut”
If you are familiar with any of these hash tags or have used them before, you definitely would have loved to be at the 2nd annual Art of Speed Malaysia, recently held in Citta Mall, Ara Damansara on the 8th & 9th of June 2013, organised by Switchblade™ Kuala Lumpur. Henry David Thoreau once said “The world is but a canvas to our imagination” and the Art of Speed event was just that. Everything on display at AoS were canvases with individual characteristics that were displayed for all to see. From making rust, which was once considered cancer on metal, into an appealing feature on a car; to having that gleaming show car finish venom green on a muscle car, everything spoke art.
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
Over 12,000 people visited this 2 day event which showcased over 50 cars such as muscle cars like Chevys, Pontiacs and even Mustangs; especially Eleanor, the Mustang GT 500 featured in the movie “Gone in 60 Seconds”, to JDM cars like the ol’skool Datsuns and Toyotas, right up to our local superstar Protons and Peroduas. Also, more than 100 bikes from all eras like the Ducati 350 Forza, Royal Enfield, Norton, and Triumph right down to Custom bikes like the American Choppers, Harleys, Superbikes and even a trike that resembles Batman’s Tumbler were on display, each with a unique identity. In the spirit of art, hot-rodders, rad rodders, custom freaks and enthusiast were given a chance to meet the Legendary Hotrodders Shige-Suganuma & Hiro “Wildman” Ishii of Mooneyes Japan. Some folks were even lucky to have their memorabilias personalized by paint stripping legend Hiro-san. Apart from all the activities, even the people exhibiting their metal artwork were interesting to talk to, dwelling into the culture which was once considered to be underground and their
passion for expression just simply takes the experience to a whole new level! I’m sure glad this culture has now surfaced here in Malaysia. My ride (an old faithful) now has a place to be in; no longer will it be given hash tags such as #weird #psychotic #junk #whatthe or even #wtf. Instead it’ll now be given the cool tags such as #awesome #artofspeed and the likes. I’m definitely looking forward to the next Art of Speed where hopefully my art piece will be ready in time for it!
MOTORSPORTS : SUPER GT
SUPER GT ROUND 3 SERIES The SUPER GT INTERNATIONAL SERIES MALAYSIA race, Round 3 of the 2013 AUTOBACS SUPER GT series, was held at the Sepang International Circuit (lap = 5.543 km x 54 laps) in Malaysia on June 16. A new record attendance of over 67,000 spectators braced the sunny day at Sepang. The GT500 class race was closely fought from start to finish, with the pole-starting CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R driven by Tsugio Matsuda and Joao Paulo de Oliveira emerging victorious for their first win of the season. Starting from pole position, the CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R (Tsugio Matsuda) entered the first turn followed closely by the ZENT CERUMO SC430 (Kohei Hirate) starting from the second grid position. After that, it appeared that the race would develop into a duel for the lead between these two machines. However, the ZENT was bumped by the REITO MOLA GT-R (Yuhi Sekiguchi) running in 3rd position and received damage to its right rear tire that forced it to return to the pit. This left Matsuda in the 26
AAM GODRIVE â€˘ JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
lead in the CALSONIC pursued by the Weider Modulo HSV-010 (Naoki Yamamoto) that had worked its way up from an 8thposition start. The machine of the Weider team that had won the 2011 and 2012 Sepang races was very fast, enabling Yamamoto to pass Matsuda and take the lead, leaving Matsuda in 2nd position. In its routine pit stop, the Weider Modulo HSV-010 took on Frederic Makowiecki as its second-stint driver, but the carâ€™s engine failed to start for some time after the pit work was completed, resulting in a big time loss. This allowed the CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R, now driven by Joao Paulo de Oliveira to reclaim the lead with no effort. From there, De Oliveira raced on steadily lap after lap, not allowing the DENSO KOBELCO SC430 (Juichi Wakisaka) now in 2nd position to close the gap on him. De Oliveira continued to hold a 3-second margin of lead all the way to the goal and the win. This great runaway victory was the first for the CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R team since round six last season at Fuji.
This was the first win of this season for the NISSAN GT-R and its 21st overall in the GT500 class. For Matsuda it was his eleventh victory and for De Oliveira his seventh. The GT300 class race was a battle between the two Honda CR-Z machines, with the victory going to the ARTA CR-Z GT driven by Shinichi Takagi and Takashi Kobayashi. Following the win in the last round by the Panasonic apr PRIUS GT, this was the second consecutive victory for the hybrid machines. The pole-starting ARTA CR-Z GT driven by Shinichi Takagi stayed in the lead all the way to the routine pit stop, only to have a delay in the pit work erase its lead and allow the MUGEN CR-Z GT to take command of the race. At the wheel of the ARTA CR-Z GT in the second half of the race, Takashi Kobayashi was able to catch and pass the MUGEN CR-Z GT and give the Honda CR-Z its first SUPER GT victory. For Takagi it was his 13th win in the GT300 class and for Kobayashi it was a felicitous first win.
INDUSTRY NEWS: LAMBORGHINI 50TH ANNIVERSARY
RAGING BULLS SET HISTORIC DRIVE RECORD IN MALAYSIA 77 Lamborghini super sports cars from Malaysia and Singapore paraded through some of Malaysia’s most scenic highways and beautiful cities in conjunction with Automobil Lamborghini’s 50th Anniversary recently. The Lamborghini Owners Malaysia (LOM) and Lamborghini Owners Singapore (LOS) successfully gathered the largest number of Lamborghini owners and their machines, not only to celebrate its legendary 50th anniversary, but also to raise funds for charity. They completed their 900km journey in a 5 day drive, from KLCC to Penang through Bukit Tinggi, Cameron Highlands, Ipoh and Penang.
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
“The objective of this drive was to get owners from Singapore and Malaysia to celebrate in our own way although we were unable to join the Grand Tour in Italy which is being celebrated the whole year round to mark the 50th Anniversary. We paraded in rare models such as the Gallardo Super Trofeo Stradale and vintage models like the 1988 25th Anniversary Edition Countach. More recent models included the Aventador LP 700-4, Diablo, Murcielago and Superleggera, and we took them on an adventure,” added Dr Rodwin Bahadur, Lamborghini Owners Malaysia Organising Director. Local dealer, JH ITalia Sdn Bhd’s Chief Operating Officer Marcus Chye said the event has provided great exposure and reinforces the belief that Malaysia is a good place to drive super sports cars. He stressed that Malaysia, with its excellent expressways and interesting trunk roads, is one of the best countries in the world to drive a supercar.
DAY 1 / BUKIT TINGGI
DAY 2 / CAMERON HIGHLANDS
DAY 3 / BANJARAN
DAY 4 / PENANG
“The drive wasn’t free of challenges though, as we had to balance the uniqueness that Lamborghini owners crave with the viability of carrying out the drive in just five days. There is just so much to see and do throughout Malaysia,” said Chye. He added that the memorable drive in Malaysia was coordinated by Lamborghini enthusiast Roslan Rosdi who owns a Diablo and Dr Rodwin Bahadur, the proud owner of a Gallardo STS. In conjunction with the Lamborghini 50th Anniversary Asia Drive, the owners also raised approximately RM60,000 for three charitable organizations whilst being feted at its glamorous Gala Dinner held at The Chateau, Bukit Tinggi. The collected money will be channeled to Yayasan Orang Kurang Upaya Kelantan, Persatuan Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak Cacat Klang and Cheshire Home Selangor. Currently there are 156 Lamborghini owners in Malaysia and the number is expected to grow to 190 by the end of the year. 29
INDUSTRY LEADERS : DATO’ WIRA HJ SM FAISAL TAN SRI SM NASIMUDDIN
LEADING INTO THE FUTURE
GoDrive AAM had the pleasure of catching up with the Global Leadership Awards 2011 “Young Achiever of the Year” and Joint Group Executive Chairman Naza Group, Dato’ Wira Hj SM Faisal Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin. He shares with us his views on the future of his company, Malaysian automotive trends and some light hearted memories. WITH THE RECENT REDUCTION IN PRICE, FOREIGN MAKES ARE NOW SIGNIFICANTLY CHEAPER THAN BEFORE THEREBY INCREASING COMPETITION. HOW IS NAZA PLANNING TO STAY ABOVE THE COMPETITION OVER THE NEXT 3 TO 5 YEARS? NAZA is a firm believer in providing the best product for the best price. As such, we are in constant communication with the various governmental agencies and abide by all their rulings at all times. Our game plan for the next 3 to 5 years is to maintain a steady watch over the developments in the local automotive industry and strategise to offer products that Malaysians truly desire. MANUFACTURERS’ AFTER SALES SERVICE MATTERS TO MOST CONSUMERS. HOW DOES NAZA KEEP ITS BASE OF CUSTOMERS HAPPY AND ULTIMATELY BECOME YOUR OWN BRAND EVANGELISTS? NAZA has very well-trained sales and after-sales staff and even service personnel who ensure that every brand touch point and interaction experience with its customers is carried out to the highest degree of satisfaction. Part of their activities also include carrying out a lot of brand activation programmes such as get-togethers, customer appreciation events and even fostering owner clubs.
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
HOW DO YOU SEE THE MALAYSIAN AUTOMOTIVE SCENE DEVELOPING WITHIN THE NEXT 5 YEARS AND WHAT WILL BE THE MAJOR TURNING POINTS? We see a very positive future for the Malaysian automotive scene. We can expect to see the emergence of a more liberal market, one where the market prices are more competitive due to government initiatives. WHAT IS YOUR ALL-TIME FAVOURITE CAR (AND WHY)? A Yellow VW Beetle. It was the first car I ever sold when I was 13. The reason I remember it so fondly is that my father used to make me wash it regularly to learn the car and so that I could understand the nuances of the car. Selling that first car was tough, but it allowed me to learn how to properly appreciate cars and how to position their best features. IN ITS 80 YEARS, AAM HAS BEEN A STRONG ADVOCATE FOR ROAD SAFETY. IF YOU HAD ONE ADVICE FOR DRIVERS OUT THERE CONCERNING ROAD SAFETY, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Drive within your limits and keep to the legal speed limits at all times.
FEATURE STORY : PEUGEOT 208
PEUGEOT 208 1.6VTI
THE NEW FRENCH DARLING PEUGEOT MALAYSIA RECENTLY ORGANISED A TEST DRIVE FROM SUBANG TO TANJUNG MALIM VIA ULU YAM. AFTER THE SHORT BRIEFING AT THE PEUGEOT LOUNGE AT SUBANG SKYPARK (THE FIRST ONE IN THE WORLD EXCLUSIVE TO PEUGEOT OWNERS ONLY), THE HYPE ABOUT THIS SPUNKY NEW 208 HAD US ALL IN A FRENZY TO GET STARTED. AT FIRST SIGHT, THE 208 DIDN’T LET US DOWN. HERE’S OUR FULL TEST DRIVE REVIEW.
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
AMOUR AT FIRST SIGHT?
We’ll cut to the chase. It’s gorgeous! We’re glad Peugeot decided to leave their comfort zone and design a 20x series that looks fresh and inspired from all angles. Their signature chrome “PEUGEOT” brands on the front grille and at the back, and the curves too, show some hints of RCZ’s design being incorporated here, which is cool. Before that, let’s track back 13 years. Forget the 207! It did well but it didn’t live up to the super-hype of the 206. When the 206 was first launched in Malaysia back in 2000, every 20-something yuppie wanted it so badly they’d find any means to pay RM88,888 for it! Even some may have thought about banging their old cars into a 206; remember that famous Indian 206 TV commercial?
Good news is, the new 208 1.6 VTi costs less than that infamous RM88,888 price tag. It’s RM85,888 to be exact. That’s better news for Peugeot Malaysia! Why? This price bodes well with the common trend of Malaysian car buyers preferring to forego local cars and top-up a few thousand Ringgit for an imported car… even if it is unreasonably small, under-powered and over-priced (not that we say the 208 falls under any of these descriptions). The 300,000th unit of the 208 rolled off the production line in February 2013 and that must mean something.
However, the 208 is a latecomer to the B-segment party, already dominated by the likes of Ford Fiesta and VW Polo withSuzuki’s all-new Swift raking in good sales figures too. Yet, the 208 has many creature features that could put all of them to shame, and perhaps even some larger C-segment cars too.
D-SEGMENT STUFF IN A SMALL PACKAGE
How do you fit big-car-gadgets in a small 208? It’s simple, really. Don’t lower the price but pack in more stuff! In the 208, perhaps the most noticeable key feature is the 7-inch interactive touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard. This awardwinning touchscreen system packs radio, CD, MP3, USB, Bluetooth and audio streaming. But sadly it lacks the most important feature in huge in-car screens like this; a GPS. That’s a huge disappointment. Using the screen isn’t as user-friendly as an iPod and it proved to be a distraction while driving. It’s even named as “HD” even though its resolution is only 800x480. Perhaps sticking an iPad Mini on the dashboard with Velcro makes more sense; just saying!
Then of course, you’ll notice the nice ‘floating’ instrument panel that looks really classy, coupled with an expensive-looking compact steering wheel wrapped in leather that feels really good in your hands. The weird part is when you’re behind the steering (probably as small as a regular Logitech gaming wheel) and it blocks the view of the gauges, regardless of how tall you are. Worst still, we foresee many buyers complaining about the glove box; it is literally big enough for only a glove! How could Peugeot get these simple bits wrong? Here are bits Peugeot got right. The Arkamys 3D 6-speaker sound system’s clarity was impressive and power was above average. Boot is great for its class with a total of 285 litres with 60:40 rear seat folding. The leg room at the back was pretty spacious too. To top it off, lightsensitive auto rear view mirrors and head up instrument panel make the 208 feel decently expensive and luxurious.
THE 208 FEELS DECENTLY EXPENSIVE AND LUXURIOUS
FEATURE STORY : PEUGEOT 208
OUR VERDICT GET IT FOR ITS: French beauty; superior European styling. Bragging rights to multiple awards. Pleasurable city driving. “Feel-good” factor from all the D-segment standard creature features. EURO NCAP 5-Star & 6 Airbag System and a host of active safety features. Good after sales value as Nasim Sdn Bhd, the official distributor for the Peugeot brand in Malaysia offers a five year warranty with unlimited mileage and complimentary Peugeot Lounge access.
RECONSIDER OTHER OPTIONS IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR: PEUGEOT = EUROPEAN COMFORT + HANDLING
The 208 lives up to Peugeot’s reputation for refinement and comfort. The seats may not be clad in leather, but it looks and feels extremely good. Another upmarket feature in the 208 is a dual A/C system, giving the front passenger more options for a comfortable ride. The suspensions felt a tad too stiff at low speeds but you’ll appreciate it once you’re on the go. I got a bit of motion-sickness being a passenger at the front but otherwise it’s very comfortable elsewhere. However, the handling characteristics were slightly disappointing. Unlike how a ‘certain British magazine’ described it as neutral and precise, we can’t say the same. The 208 felt very planted to the road in a straight line but the understeer and body-roll at high speeds were a bit too much for our liking as it felt uneasy going through winding corners of Ulu Yam. Even the new Suzuki Swift felt much better in this department. The traction control does a good job curbing over-energetic driving and we felt it during the winding stretches at Kuala Kubu Baru. Its advanced electric power steering is progressive and well-weighted in any speed. Best of all is when its ABS, traction control, Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) all working together with its Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) to provide a phenomenally precise and responsive performance. Too bad its go-power doesn’t match its stoppower. 34 34
AAMGODRIVE GODRIVE •• JUN/JUL/AUG MARCH 2013 ISSUE AAM 2013 ISSUE
SPEAKING ABOUT POWER
On paper, the 1,598cc dual variable valve timing & lift powerplant looks decent with 122ps@6,000rpm and 160Nm@4,250rpm, giving a 0-100/kmh sprint in 10.7sec. In real life, it felt much slower. And then you might look at its price again and go “What?!”
WATCH OUR SPRINT TEST
A true “hot-hatch”… The 208’s quick looks are only skin deep. An affordable imported hatch. At this steep price, you’ve got several alternatives that cost the same if not lower. More space. At this price, there are several C-segment cars you can consider if you’re looking for spacious cabins. Good residual value; Peugeots aren’t well known for retaining their resale value here.
It looks fast. In its 1.6l guise however, it just doesn’t zip away quickly. It gets to 110km/h pretty well but you’ll start noticing the engine strain at 140km/h onwards. We only managed to take it to 178km/h going downhill (after a long minute of coaxing it into speed), even though its top speed is rated at 190km/h. Well, maybe if we had clearer road and another minute, we could have eventually got there. A turbocharged version might be awesome, but so will its price. The fuel efficiency of the 208 on a mixed cycle is rated at 6.7-litres per 100 km. From our test, this figure seems fair.
THE OTHER SPORTY ONE
For RM10,000 more, you get two doors less and a whole lot more style. The seats are semi-leather, the wheels are the sporty twotone 17”, and the best is the panoramic glass roof with mood lighting that outlines the glass roof at night.
The 208 misses that legendary 206-impact by a slight margin, at a time when competition in the B-segment compact cars is at an all-time high. Nevertheless, the 208 has been selling very well all over Europe since its launch in March last year. We’ll have to wait and see if it can convince Malaysians likewise. My bet is it probably will. Not because it’s the best car option out there; it’s our car buyers who just love being spotted in imported cars and the Peugeot 208 happens to be one luxurious French beauty!
PEUGEOT 208 COMMERCIAL
ride to the maximum
heavy duty absorbers
PROMOTI PRICE TOON ALL AA MEMBERMS T& C APPLY
ALWAYS AT MALAYSIA’S FRONTIER
MINERAL & SEMI-SYNTHETIC OIL
PERFORMANCE COIL SPRINGS
PERFORMANCE BRAKE PADS
INTERNATIONAL AUTOPARTS SDN BHD (118640m) No 11, Jalan P/1 Seksyen 13 Kawasan Perindustriaan Bangi, Selangor DE Malaysia TEL
603 8927 3126/27
603 8927 3605
PERFORMANCE BRAKE DISC
FEATURE STORY : SONATA VS. KIZASHI
HYUNDAI SONATA vs. SUZUKI KIZASHI EVEN THOUGH FUEL PRICES DON’T SEEM TO COME DOWN, THAT DOESN’T STOP THE APPETITE FOR LARGER SEDANS FROM INCREASING YEAR AFTER YEAR. WE CHOSE TWO UNSUSPECTING 2.4 LITRE MODELS TO TEST AND PITTED THEM AGAINST EACH OTHER.
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
BIG! WHY THESE TWO MODELS? Simply put, the usual 2.4 litre D-segment heroes (priced under RM200,000) such as the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and even the Mazda6 are well reviewed and are also in a different league of brands. So we deliberately decided to venture into a slightly unknown category for this feature.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT First up, the Hyundai Sonata’s latest model has been around for a couple of years. You may recognise it from Hyundai’s impressive “New Thinking. New Possibilities.” TV commercial. Heck! It has appeared in many Hollywood movies and TV series too, thanks to Hyundai’s aggressive marketing and sponsorship. It recently received a beautiful facelift along with new features such as Daylight Running Lights (DRL), newly designed 18” wheels and rear LED lamp cluster to name a few, with a selling price of RM173,905 (OTR w insurance) for the 2.4l Premium variant.
On the other end of the spectrum, we uncover a little-known car called the Kizashi. Suzuki has created a classic in the Swift, their global best-selling compact car. But who would have thought they would dare venture into the D-segment arena so soon?! Since its launch over a year ago, Kizashi isn’t a car you would commonly see on Malaysian roads, even though the RM153,888 (OTR w insurance) price tag for the 2.4l Sport variant is very appealing. That’s RM20,000 less than the Sonata 2.4l Premium. The standard Kizashi 2.4l SLDX variant is even more attractive at RM143,888 (OTR w insurance)! Perhaps Suzuki Malaysia Automobile Sdn Bhd (SMA) focuses more of its marketing efforts on its smaller Swift and SX4 models than the huge Kizashi. Nevertheless, we think this is exactly the best reason to get it! Given the Kizashi’s rarity on the road, its sleek luxurious design is an instant head-turner. During the 3 days we drove this car, lots of bystanders were admiring it; a few even stopped to ask us what was the model and if it’s already selling in Malaysia. Wow-factor indeed!
FEATURE STORY : SONATA VS. KIZASHI
WATCH OUR SPRINT TEST
WITH THE SONATA, LET’S JUST SAY THERE’S PLENTY TO SMILE ABOUT... EVERYTHING ABOUT ITS INTERIOR IS JUST BETTER.
2.4 LITERS OF FUN Those who are very accustomed to cars below 2,000cc will find the upgrade to a 2,400cc daunting, not because of the additional power, but the presumed fuel consumption and road tax! In Malaysia, the road tax for a 2.4l is about RM780.00 for private registration. To put things into perspective, it costs RM90.00 for 1.6l and RM380.00 for 2.0l. Fuel consumption wise, the larger displacement engines have a tendency to be rather economical on fuel, sometimes even outdoing its 2.0 counterparts. Modern ECUs, fuel delivery systems and transmissions help improve the overall efficiency. Furthermore, it’s not 100% of the time that you need to use the full brute power of a 2.4l engine on public roads.
characteristics are entirely different. In this department, our hats go off for Suzuki’s Kizashi. Unlike the Sonata’s somewhat dated 6-speed shiftronic gearbox, the Kizashi employs an effective CVT that keeps the gear running at its engine’s optimum power output. In laymen’s term, you won’t lose much power when picking up speed with a CVT gearbox. Also, Kizashi’s top power output comes at about 500rpm higher than Sonata’s Theta II, urging you to drive a little more aggressive only when necessary. The difference is very noticeable, with the Sonata (while powerful as it is) felt slightly sluggish when picking up from traffic lights and during overtaking, when compared to the Kizashi. In the handling department, we are very impressed how Suzuki managed to translate their tuning expertise from a small Swift into the huge Kizashi. Being a D-segment sized car, new drivers usually tend to be afraid of the new sensations of driving and swinging a 1.5 tonne car. Kizashi doesn’t feel that way. In fact, it handled almost as nimble as the European-flavoured Swift, with an incredibly small turning radius.
Kizashi’s J24B and Sonata’s Theta II engines’ maximum output are almost identical, approximately 176 horsepower and 230 Nm of torque. It doesn’t look like much, but when you floor the pedal, both cars will tell you they want to go, go and go! With that much power, hitting speeds in excess of 200km/h is a breeze. Step back a bit, and you’ll realise that an engine like this hardly breaks a sweat cruising at 110km/h which is the big reason why it’s very economical The Sonata is anything but the opposite. Then again, Hyundai has some way to go in improving the handling of their cars. With a and reliable when driven casually. new Sonata model slated over the next couple of years, Hyundai will definitely want to match other well-known D-segment cars if SAME NUMBERS DON’T MEAN SAME PERFORMANCE it wants to make a serious impact on consumers. The engine may be almost identical on paper, but their
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
EXCITEMENT CAN BE MEASURED WITH A SMILE While we feel that the Kizashi trumps the Sonata in terms of price, design, power and handling, Suzuki’s first foray into the D-segment has several flaws. For one, the centre fascia does not have a touch screen or GPS system, although its sound system was way better than Sonata’s. Also, there are some issues with quality finishes especially with the soft-board ceiling and some external clip-on elements flying off after a few months of usage. Sonata however… well, let’s just say there’s plenty to smile about. The main hero is its panoramic sunroof. Roll the top open when you’re on a slow cruise and you’ll instantly forget all shortcomings. Its double-DIN touchscreen centre console, supervision cluster and everything about its interior is just better. Of course, there are some issues with cheap plastics but it’s not too bad. Really, the panoramic sunroof makes up for everything! WHAT TO EXPECT FROM AN “AFFORDABLE” D-SEG CAR Both cars have huge luggage space, though the Kizashi’s is designed in a way that it’s more accessible. Both cars can seat 5 persons very comfortably, have dual automatic air-conditioning power-adjustable driver seats, pedal shifters, and a huge size that make parking rather difficult. Although the Kizashi has an effective all-round proximity sensors to warn of near objects, the Sonata includes a rear view camera that eases parking woes. WHAT DO OTHERS SAY? For this test, we decided to get five of our closest friends in on the action too. The feedback is unanimous; the Kizashi is very easy to master and feels very well planted through twist and turns in spite of its size. Power wise, the Kizashi is a clear favourite. When asked if they would buy the Kizashi, they hesitated, citing Suzuki as an unknown brand in this segment and perhaps retain very low residual value over time, when compared to the Sonata. Not to say that Hyundai cars have impressive residual value either, but it’s definitely better than this Suzuki model. Of course, as the old popular opinion goes, “If got more Sonata on the road, next time spare parts also easier to find lah.”
THE KIZASHI’S SLEEK LUXURIOUS DESIGN IS AN INSTANT HEAD-TURNER... LOTS OF BYSTANDERS WERE ADMIRING IT
WATCH OUR SPRINT TEST
FEATURE STORY : SONATA VS. KIZASHI
OUR VERDICT Perhaps some of you may think that pitting these two models which are RM20,000 apart may be unfair. To set the record straight, the Sonata wins by a mile in terms of creature features and branding over the Kizashi. Here’s our verdict(s) in the fairest possible way:
“I WANT A 2.4L CAR.”
Between these two, get the Sonata for its reputation as an internationally wellaccepted D-segment choice.
“I WANT A SOLID 2.4L CAR THAT’S COOL.”
Sonata obviously, with its huge array of gadgets and features. And yes, the panoramic sunroof too!
“I WANT SOMETHING PEOPLE WILL LOOK AND GO ‘WOW!’”
Get the Kizashi. Its sleek European-inspired looks will definitely be a head turner wherever you go and may even be a cool topic for ice-breaking.
“I WANT A 2.4L THAT’S POWERFUL AND EASY TO DRIVE.”
Go for the Kizashi Sport variant. The responsive engine coupled with its CVT won’t let you down.
“I WANT TO GET INTO THE 2.4L CLUB IN THE MOST AFFORDABLE WAY.”
Suzuki Kizashi FTW! (for the win) You’ve seen its price and the bang-for-the-buck package. It’s no wonder why it won the Asian Auto Industry Awards 2012 for the “Best Value for Money Executive Sedan” last year.
Of course, there are many leading 2.4l sedan options in the market. The futuristic Mazda6 is currently making waves, Toyota Camry is selling well, Nissan Teana is raking up higher sales with its recent facelift, and many are anticipating a replacement for the ageing Honda Accord which has been around for 5 long years. Nevertheless, the Hyundai Sonata 2.4l Premium is still selling well in our market and poses as an equal competitor to the popular Japanese makes mentioned above. We foresee that when Hyundai introduces an all-new Sonata in the near future, we can expect more refinements, especially in the handling and power delivery systems. The dark horse in all this is none other than the Kizashi. Perhaps if Suzuki had spent an extra year or so refining the Kizashi further before its launch in 2012, the car would have been better poised to make an impact on the market. All credit though must go to Suzuki for creating a solid first serious effort. It is perhaps poetic that they chose the name Kizashi, which in Japanese means “a sign of great things to come.”
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
INDUSTRY NEWS : SUZUKI SWIFT SPORT LAUNCH
NEW SWIFT SPORT
SPORTINESS TO THE MAX The fully imported All-New Swift Sport 1.6L VVT has arrived on Malaysian shores. Sports bucket seats, a leathercovered steering wheel, silver details and red stitching gear knob, metal pedals, and a sports exhaust system with two tailpipes are just a few of the details that complete the sporty model. The performance flagship of the Swift series, the new Swift Sportâ€™s 1.6L VVT engine delivers even better handling, driving performance, and environmental compatibility. Available in six-speed manual transmission, it was specially developed to make full use of the M16A engineâ€™s performance. The engine has been stroked to produce a maximum output of 136hp and maximum torque is 160Nm/6900rpm. The 4cylinder accelerates the Sport to 100km/h in 8.7 seconds and its fuel consumption is 6.5L/100km. Swift Sport is also available in CVT automatic with sevengear manual mode with shift paddles for sporty driving. The new Swift Sport is equipped with all safety features, including Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution, and six airbags including the sides. Amazingly, the All-New Swift Sport offers you a higher level of performance with the same price as the previous Swift Sport, with prices starting from RM 97,888 for manual transmission and RM 102,888 for CVT automatic. There are two choices of colours, Snow White Pearl and Champion Yellow.
WATCH THE TEST DRIVE AT SEPANG CIRCUIT! 41
INDUSTRY NEWS : PROTON SAGA
Upgraded Saga Made More Affordable @ RM250/MONTH
Proton recently launched the most affordable Saga yet, the Saga SV (Super Value) with a starting price of RM33,438 (OTR Peninsula M’sia). Powered by the same 1.3 Campro/IAFM in the previous Saga FLX, the new CVT model starts from RM36,438; in all, approx. RM5,000 less than the FLX but with the same features including dual airbags. The Saga was recently awarded 3-star rating by ASEAN NCAP, Best Value Compact Sedan by NST-Maybank Car of The Year 2012 and Best Small/Midsize Sedan by Autocar ASEAN Car of the Year 2012. The Saga SV is available in 6 colours: Solid White, Elegant Brown, Tranquility Black, Genetic Silver, Fire Red and the latest Blue Rock option. Proton Holdings Berhad Executive Chairman, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Hj Mohd Khamil Jamil said that Proton has worked closely with a few banks to
THE F12BERLINETTA MAKES ITS DEBUT IN MALAYSIA
provide loans for Saga SV with monthly repayment as low as RM250 per month, which makes this feature-packed sedan even more affordable and accessible to most families and young executives in Malaysia. The cost reduction was not a result of ‘stripping features’, but made possible through a long process of value-engineering. As a result, the Saga SV retains all the features of the Saga FLX with addition of chassis reinforcement and dual airbags that earns it 3-star ASEAN NCAP rating. He added that a replacement model for the evergreen ‘people’s car’ Saga is in the works and is scheduled to be launched in 2 years. Other models in the Proton stable will have new replacements too within this time frame. The Saga SV is now available for test drive and booking at all Proton showrooms.
The Ferrari F12berlinetta, one of the fastest road cars produced by the legendary Italian supercar maker, has officially debuted in Malaysia. Hallmarks of Ferrari’s DNA are reflected in the F12berlinetta’s harmonious marriage of technology and aesthetics. It’s also the first in a new generation of Ferrari V12s that have reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by an impressive 30 percent. Sporting a new 740hp (730bhp) mid-front V12 engine that delivers 690 Nm of torque (80% of which is readily available at 2500rpm), the F12berlinetta is built around highly evolved transaxle architecture that has been revolutionised to match the car’s more extreme performance and features state-of-the-art components and control systems. The F12berlinetta has set a lap time of just 1’23’’ at Fiorano and covers 0-100 km/h in 3.1 seconds and 0-200km/h in 8.5 seconds. Its aerodynamics have been honed to the extreme, resulting in one of the most aerodynamically efficient Ferraris ever made (a figure of 1.12 – double that of the 599 GTB Fiorano) with a Cd of just 0.299 and downforce of 123 kg at 200 km/h. The base price for Ferrari F12berlinetta is RM 1,288,800.00 and the two new colours developed only for this model are Rosso Berlinetta and Aluminium.
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
INDUSTRY NEWS : NISSAN LEAF
NISSAN SAYS NO TO PETROL AND TURNS OVER A NEW
Edaran Tan Chong Motor Sdn Bhd (ETCM) and First Energy Networks Sdn Bhd (FEN) have teamed up with Bangsar Shopping Centre (BSC) to build an Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station with equipment supplied by General Electric (GE).
electric Nissan LEAF by ETCM in Q3 2013. Future Nissan LEAF owners living in and around the Bangsar area will be able to recharge their EVs for free during the first phase at BSC while shopping, dining or enjoying other activities that the shopping centre offers.
This follows the establishment of FEN’s first two EV Charging Stations in Bukit Bintang last year in KLCC and Lot 10 Shopping Centre, as well as the third charging station at Petronas Solaris, Serdang.
Azli Mohamed, Director of Growth Initiatives and Key Account, GE ASEAN said “We are pleased to be a part of FEN’s efforts to raise awareness and accelerate the adoption of EVs in Malaysia. Our participation forms part of our overall strategy and commitment to help bring Malaysia closer to developing a blueprint for an EV Infrastructure Framework.”
BSC is part of the company’s network expansion efforts as FEN targets more shopping malls and public places to install these chargers. The charging station at BSC will be located at Carpark Level LG and owners of EVs will be able to get their vehicles recharged using GE’s DuraStation while they are at the shopping centre. The DuraStation, a level 2 charger, offers vehicles faster charging compared to standard (level 1) plug-in charging. It is the ideal solution for charging away from the home as the DuraStation is capable of reducing charge time from 12-18 hours to 4-8 hours, assuming a 24kWh battery and a full-cycle charge. The installation of EV Charging Stations in Kuala Lumpur (and other cities in future) complements the upcoming introduction of the all-
Over the past year, ETCM has run the Nissan LEAF Ambassador Pilot Program to create awareness of the benefits and drivability of electric vehicles. Three different groups of Malaysians were invited to drive the LEAF over a period of six weeks and share their experiences on social media and with their friends. ETCM is set to launch the Nissan LEAF by the third quarter of 2013. The EV has won awards such as ‘Car of the Year’ in both Europe and Japan, as well as the ‘Green Award of the Year’ and ‘Eco Innovation Award of the Year’ in Malaysia. With its zero-emissions, it heralds a new dimension in motoring for Malaysians.
INDUSTRY NEWS : NISSAN ALMERA NISMO
NISSAN ALMERA NISMO PERFORMANCE PACKAGE CONCEPT Edaran Tan Chong Motor Sdn. Bhd. (ETCM) achieved yet another milestone together with Nissan Motorsports International Co., Ltd. (NISMO) with the global preview of the Nissan Almera Nismo Performance Package Concept car which was unveiled at the Super GT International Series Malaysia 2013. With the introduction of the Nissan Almera Nismo Performance Package Concept, car enthusiasts in Malaysia will soon have the option of owning a Nissan Almera with Nismo’s passion. This exciting package is scheduled to be launched in Malaysia in the fourth quarter of this year. The striking exterior features of the Nissan Almera Nismo Performance Package Concept are Front and Rear Bumper Spoilers, Side Skirts, Rear Spoiler, and 17” Alloy Wheels, which were developed with Nismo’s race proven technologies. Sports Suspension contributes to comfortable and stable handling, and Nismo Exhaust Muffler creates sporty sound.
MINI COOPER S PACEMAN
The all-new MINI Cooper S Paceman is the seventh and newest model to join the MINI family. As the first Sports Activity Coupé in the MINI family, it carries itself with an extroverted iconic design with the hallmark Go-Kart driving experience as well as exclusive interior equipment and ambience that offer style and superior substance. Setting the all-new MINI Cooper S Paceman apart is its two door, large tailgate and lounge concept interior offering with two full-size individual rear seats. The most eye-catching new highlights are its rear end tailights which feature horizontal design cues, a first for MINI. With the particularly powerful small displacement engine, standard lowered sports suspension and coupé-style roof, it fits right into the coupé mould. It is also the first MINI to be identified by a rear nameplate. Impressively powerful and remarkably efficient, the MINI Cooper S Paceman is equipped with four cylinders and a zesty power delivery accompanied by remarkably low fuel consumption and emissions. Powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine, it sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.8 seconds with a top speed of 212 km/h. Despite the impressive acceleration, average fuel economy in the EU test cycle stands at a notable 7.5 litres per 100 kilometres and CO2 emissions are just 175 grams per kilometre. The all-new MINI Cooper S Paceman will be available in five exterior paint shades, including new Brilliant Copper and Starlight Blue variants. The roof and exterior mirror caps can be painted in body colour, white or black. Glass roof is also available as an option. The retail price (on the road for personal registration, without insurance, with the MINI Tender Loving Care service package) for the all-new MINI Cooper S Paceman is RM 288,888.00, while the Optional Glass Roof Package is RM 7,888.00.
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
INDUSTRY NEWS : BMW F 700 GS & F 800 GS
BMW GROUP MALAYSIA PRESENTS THE NEW
BMW F 700 GS & BMW F 800 GS The new BMW F 700 GS and the enhanced BMW F 800 GS enduros by BMW Motorrad delivers all the hallmarks of enduro machines, coupled with sporty genes for road use and touring with superior off-road qualities. The all new BMW F 700 GS is catered for aspirational off-road riders and delivers practical all-round capabilities for everyday use while the BMW F 800 GS combines touring capability with superior offroad qualities. Both models deliver exceptional fuel saving efficiency and are amongst the most advanced motorcycles in the world in terms of dynamism, efficiency and active safety technology. The BMW F 700 GS which replaces the previous BMW F 650 GS, is geared more towards motorcyclists who do not yet need a high level of technical off-road expertise, but has the need to experience a motorcycle capable for all-round everyday use with more than sufficient power with outstanding economy. With the new BMW F 800 GS, BMW Motorrad has made an already good endurance motorcycle, even better. Aesthetically, the BMW F 800 GS delivers immense versatility and robust performance for both road and off-road qualities, combining both worlds together to an extent not previously seen in the typical enduro bikes. Displaying a prominent style and striking body features, a new build structure for both models includes a redesigned “beak” situated right above the mudguard - a classic BMW GS hallmark which also provides excellent functionality as a splash guard. In terms of superior performance, both models are fitted with a 798 cc, liquid-cooled 4-valve 2-cylinder engine, electronic fuel injection, closed-loop catalytic converter and a 6-speed gearbox. A key unique feature offered is the additional connecting rod which ensures that the
2-cylinder runs with as minimal vibration as possible. The new BMW F 700 GS projects an impressive output and torque boost with its engine now delivering a maximum torque of 77Nm at 5,300rpm. The BMW F 800 GS still sustains smooth power delivery of 63 kW (85hp) at 7,500 rpm, and a peaking torque of 83 Nm at 5,750 rpm. Abiding to BMW Motorrad’s Safety 360o principle, BMW Motorrad ABS is provided as a standard feature in both models. A new dial face makeover arranged vertically at the cockpit of the bike ensures better legibility of the speed and engine reading, and riders are now also able to receive information on the fuel consumption and coolant temperature with ease. Both the BMW F 700 GS and BMW F 800 GS feature slimmer seat and front structures. The low centre of gravity creates outstanding off-road qualities with full manoeuvring control, together with a narrow steering head and wide handlebars which are of particular use over rough terrain. For improved ride comfort both models offer a wide range of optional adjustments on the hand levers for the front brake and clutch as well as wide vibration-damping footrests with removal rubber tops to generate smooth handling and exceptionally pleasant rides. The colours offered for the new BMW F 700 GS are Ostra Grey metallic, Red Apple metallic and Glacier Silver metallic, while the new BMW F 800 GS comes in Kalamata metallic matt, Cordoba blue and Alpine white 3. The retail price (on the road without insurance) of the BMW F 700 GS is RM79,800 while the BMW F 800 GS is going for RM89,800.
INDUSTRY NEWS : FELIPE MASSA
AN AFTERNOON WITH
FELIPE MASSA SHELL V-POWER COCKTAIL MASTERCLASS
30 lucky winners of the Shell V-Power radio contest in conjunction with the 2013 F1 Malaysia GP were guests at Shell V-Power “Mixology Masterclass” with Scuderia Ferrari F1 driver Felipe Massa, Shell’s F1 Trackside and Logistics manager Ian Albiston and scientist Daniel Hope. The “Mixology Masterclass” session is a live demonstration, with a twist of fun, to bring to life the technology and R&D through analogy of various elements that make up the Shell V-Power fuel. This session’s cocktail saw the trio mixing up a cocktail which included locally sourced dragon fruit and calamansi (limau). Christine Liew, Head of Retail Marketing at Shell said, “At Shell, we always aim to provide our customers memorable experiences - be it through our fuels or marketing activities.” Felipe demonstrates how V-Power cleans the engines, spraying water at an actual Ferrari valve coated with chocolate! Once the mix was
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
done, Felipe gave the cocktail a final mix and made a toast to a great 2013 season. 99% of the same components (as in the actual fuel bases, not the fruit juices) found in the fuels used in F1 actually goes into the V-Power at your nearest Shell station! It is important to note that Shell is not a sponsor for the Scuderia Ferrari team, rather a “Technical Partner” where Shell’s engineers are given the best platform to test their lubes and fuels at the very edge of realistic conditions. Also, only Shell has a complete “Track Lab” on the paddock, that travels with Ferrari to every race and assists in formulating and evaluating the right lubes and fuels for the team. GoDrive AAM Magazine asked Felipe how it felt to be the sole Brazilian F1 driver on the grid. His answer was poignant and hopeful: “We’ve not had only one Brazilian F1 driver since 1978, I think. We used to have many
drivers taking part in local race events and climbing up the ladder into F1. This isn’t happening much these days and I hope I can help more drivers from Brazil to succeed. For now, all I can do is work hard and do my best to make my country proud.” He later said that his 3-year old son, Felipinho as being his biggest motivation to win the championship, adding that Felipinho would call him after every race to ask if he had won. When asked if he wants his son to follow in his footsteps, he answered “I’ll leave it up to him. But personally, I’d like him to be a professional footballer. It will be more fun watching him play football at a stadium than be all stressed up watching him race.” Motorsports fans can learn more about Shell’s technical partnership with the Ferrari team by visiting www.shell.com.my
INDUSTRY NEWS : MAZDA6
“KODO” SHOWS THE WAY FOR
THE NEW MAZDA6 UNVEILED
This is the exciting newcomer that will raise the Mazda brand to new heights. The new Mazda6 adopts distinctive design signatures that make it instantly recognizable as a member of the Mazda lineup. With its eye-catching form, poise, and sportiness, the new Mazda6 represents the pinnacle of a new-generation C & D-segment cars. The Mazda 6 is fully imported from Japan and comes in three variants: the 2.0L SDN (A) 2.5L SDN (A) and 2.5L HB Touring which is retailed at RM155,159.00, RM184,648.00 and RM188,648.00 respectively (on the road without insurance). The new Mazda6’s ‘KODO — Soul of Motion’ styling, with strong influence from the Mazda SHINARI and Mazda TAKERI concept cars, is aerodynamically outstanding, contributing to high-speed stability and to fuel economy. Additionally, Mazda has raised the bar for Japanese C & D segment cars, with careful attention was given to the areas of exterior and interior styling, packaging and craftsmanship as well as creating the impression of “being in complete control when behind the wheel”. This all-new car has been developed drawing on the full potential of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY, with refinement gleaned from the extensive implementation in the Mazda CX-5. The benefits are even greater with the new Mazda6 as it has a lower center of gravity and accordingly smaller roll movements, and its lower weight makes for brisker, more responsive off-the-line acceleration and sharper braking. Also, a sedan’s lower aspect-ratio tyres make for good handling stability and direct feedback on paved roads.
INDUSTRY NEWS : MAZDA6
Along with the class-leading SKYACTIV-G 2.0 is the newly developed SKYACTIV-G 2.5, a 2,488cc, inline-four, DOHC, 16-valve configuration with direct petrol injection. The SKYACTIV-G 2.5 weighs about the same as the MZR 2.5 but gives significantly better performance. It produces 10–15% more torque than the MZR 2.5; its torque levels are among the highest in the class. With its balance shaft, the SKYACTIV-G 2.5 is quieter than the SKYACTIV-G 2.0. Its performance is comparable with that of engines in higher-class models. The new Mazda6 with the SKYACTIV-DRIVE is the first Mazda model in which the accelerator pedal has a Kickdown Switch which heightens the pleasure of controlling the car. Based on Mazda’s “Sustainable ZoomZoom” philosophy, the new car comes with the high-efficiency SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY powertrain, the light, stiff SKYACTIV-BODY, i-stop, “i-ELOOP” brake energy regeneration system and “i-ACTIVSENSE” advanced safety technologies. The new car comes with class-leading active and passive safety features. Plus, its performance satisfies emission regulations around the world and endows it with a small environmental footprint. Great importance was placed on projecting a touch of quality. The driver’s area is totally driver-centred, with a forward-focused form. Craftsmanship is evident in the pursuit to please the senses and heightens users’ excitement about a new dimension of driving pleasure whenever they experience the new Mazda6. The Mazda 6 is available in 5 colour choices: Snowflake White Pearl, Aluminium Metallic, Soul Red, Meteor Grey and Blue Reflex.
NISSAN ROAD SURVIVAL WORKSHOP Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) has been conducting the Nissan Road Survival Workshop around Malaysia. This half-day workshop provides valuable advice and tips on road-safety, with a focus on how to react when encountering or being involved in road accidents. Participants were shown examples of life-threatening situations based on real-life road accidents, and they were also taught how to provide first-aid during emergency situations which could sometimes make a difference between life and death. Executive Director of ETCM, Dato’ David Chen said, “We want to ensure that our customers and their families are always safe on the road. Therefore, we hope the knowledge and skills gained from this workshop will be able to help avoid road accidents from happening, or help save lives.” The workshop is part of Nissan’s Personal Safety Campaign, and was initiated to help educate and create the awareness needed if participants were to encounter unforeseen circumstances. Those who attended the first session left with a better idea of how they can avoid accidents and how to react when such accidents happen. Participant said they gained useful safety tips too like keeping a safety hammer and a portable mini fire extinguisher in the car in case of emergency situations. Registration is FREE for Road Survival workshops, subject to a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis. Nissan owners who wish to attend may contact ETCM’s Customer Relations Department at 03-4047 8788 or send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org . The Nissan website at www. nissan.com.my also provides more information.
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
INDUSTRY NEWS : PORSCHE 911 CARRERA 4S
DEBUT OF THE NEW
PORSCHE 911 CARRERA 4S
The new 911 Carrera 4S is an all-wheel drive featuring enhanced driving dynamics, agility and stability, an ideal sports car for maintaining control in severe terrain and weather conditions. With its sleek contours, visual panache and modern silhouette that is unmistakably Porsche, the new 911 Carrera 4S continues to set new standards for handling performance and driving pleasure. The new all-wheel drive 911 Carrera 4S is equipped with the latest generation of Porsche Traction Management (PTM), with a special focus on improving efficiency and fuel economy. PTM is quicker than the engine’s reaction to load change and faster than the driver can perceive. This means a high level of agility on arrow country roads, excellent traction even on slippery surfaces and top-notch driving safety even during extreme driving manoeuvres at high speed. These properties make PTM one of the highest performance and yet lightest all-wheel drive systems in the market. The base price of the new 911 Carrera 4S starts from RM970,000 which includes 4-year factory warranty and a 4-year complimentary service maintenance package.
FORD LAUNCHES THE ALLNEW KUGA IN MALAYSIA
The all-new segment-redefining Ford Kuga combines power and performance, segment-leading smart and safe technologies, including the first in Malaysia hands-free power liftgate, Ford’s Intelligent AWD system, exclusive Ford SYNC™ technology, as well as a powerful yet fuel-efficient 1.6L EcoBoost petrol engine. Key features include: • Exclusive 1.6L EcoBoost petrol engine boasting 180 PS power and 240 Nm of torque • First in Malaysia Hands-free power liftgate that opens and closes with a wave of your foot beneath the rear bumper – no need to fumble for the key when your hands are full • Exclusive voice-activated Ford SYNC connectivity • Ford’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system, including exclusive Torque Vectoring Control and Curve Control for more precise handling • Euro NCAP highest rating in safety for compact SUV with seven airbags – driver and front passenger, front seat side, rear curtain and driver’s knee Ultra high-strength steels used in key structural areas •Post-crash SOS alert system Engineered for outstanding safety, the all-new Ford Kuga was awarded a maximum five-star rating by Euro NCAP after achieving an overall protection score of 88 per cent, the highest-ever for a compact SUV. Ford engineers designed the all-new Kuga with ultra-highstrength steel beams in the body structure and specially designed reinforcement around the roof to ensure structural rigidity and strength.
The interior of the all-new Kuga has been optimised for spaciousness, cargo capacity and maximum utility. The smart compartments throughout the interior with a 60:40 adaptable rear storage and 1603ℓ extended luggage space can accommodate all your recreational and weekend gear, including three fully-assembled mountain bikes. Available in Ginger Ale, Panther Black, Frozen White and Moondust Silver, the all-new Ford Kuga is priced at RM159,9991, representing tremendous value-for-money, with standard features that are unmatched in the SUV segment. For all purchasers of the all-new Ford Kuga, Ford offers a five-year/200,000 km new vehicle warranty.
FEATURE STORY : MALAYSIAN AUTOMOTIVE SCENE
THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE MALAYSIAN AUTOMOTIVE SCENE
BY TRAVIS CHANG & VINOD NAIR
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
PURVEYORS AND ENTHUSIASTS OF QUALITY AUTOMOBILES ALIKE DESCENDED UPON THE THAI CAPITAL TO ATTEND THE BANGKOK INTERNATIONAL MOTORSHOW, RECENTLY HELD FROM 27 MARCH TO 7 APRIL 2013. BEING DIE-HARD CAR LOVERS BY NATURE, THE GODRIVE EDITORIAL TEAM JOURNEYED TO THE SHOW TO TAKE IN THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN THE REGIONAL MOTORING INDUSTRY. THE EXPERIENCE TURNED OUT TO BE SOMETHING OF AN EYE-OPENER FOR US, SPARKING A CONTEMPLATION ON SOMETHING MUCH CLOSER TO HOME- THE STATE OF MALAYSIA’S AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY AND ITS FUTURE.
FEATURE STORY : MALAYSIAN AUTOMOTIVE SCENE
marque has always been seen as a necessity. Not only to obtain new technologies, but also to share platforms and components with other marques so that our cars can be developed at a significantly lower cost. How about foreign brands like Honda, Toyota and Nissan, to name a few, whose local assembly factories in Malaysia is nowhere compared to the massively sized plants in Thailand and Indonesia which cater for export markets? Toyota was a game-changer a decade ago with the introduction of the Avanza MPV and Vios sub compact car at prices which is at typical Malaysian affordable range, eroding Proton’s market dominance in the process.
Most of us won’t deny that despite living in a country with one of the most expensive car prices and cars being the second most expensive investment made after properties, we Malaysians love cars. It is a shame that our car industry, spearheaded with our own national car project for almost 3 decades and 2 National Automotive Policies (NAP), is still lagging behind its ASEAN neighbours. According to International Organisation of Motor Vehicles Manufacturers (OICA), Thailand is now #9 among the top 10 highest vehicle producers in the world, and emerged top notch among ASEAN countries. Despite the current gloomy reality, the Malaysian automotive scene is anything but slow. There are almost 50,000 cars sold each month and from the looks of the urban highways you can see the traffic jams are getting longer year by year. The many years of inadequate public transportation systems have driven Malaysians to adopt a habit of driving around for everything; be it just getting a loaf of bread at the nearest shop, getting a haircut, or even catching up with friends for a cup of teh tarik. We just love to drive! Therefore, it isn’t hard to see why our domestic automotive scene enjoys good sales of passenger cars. So what does the future hold for the Malaysian automotive scene? Many couch-critics are pleading to close Proton down just so that a VW Golf would cost today’s price for a Prevé, but it would be monumental loss for the Malaysian economy to lose Proton. Acknowledging Proton’s biggest Achilles’s heel is economies of scale, an intervention by a foreign
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
PROTON, QUO VADIS? To be fair, Proton under the stewardship of Syed Zainal Abidin responded to this competition with new, practical and affordable models like the Persona, Exora and Saga. Without it, perhaps the archaic Proton Wira or Iswara may still be around today! Now under the ownership of DRB-HICOM, Proton has been quietly undergoing extensive restructuring and rationalisation. The first signs of Proton’s new groove can be seen in the recent launch of the Saga SV (Super Value), which packs more features and value than its predecessor, the Saga FLX, yet costs approximately RM5,000.00 less. Using its influence, Proton has tied up with banks to offer car loans for the Saga SV with monthly instalment starting from only RM250.00 per month. DRB-HICOM is clearly relying on its experience and expertise with its other car brands, shaping Proton into a global brand. It is not something that can happen over a year or two. As they aptly put it, there’s no meaning in exporting Protons to over 30 countries when the export volume makes up less than 10% of its sales. The Prevé being Proton’s first truly global car may have disappointed many pundits expecting it to be immediately exported to every country on the globe. In reality, Proton is selecting the markets it knows it can sustain and develop. Hence why only recently has
the Preve been made available in Indonesia, after Thailand, Brunei, Singapore and Australia. It makes sense. These are countries closest to Malaysia, all are within the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), and continue to show growing demand for passenger cars unlike the European markets. This is perhaps what Proton should have done two decades ago; build a good and sustainable brand following regionally and expand wisely. Over the next 3 years, we can expect to see Proton ramping up the utility of its main plant in Tanjung Malim, consolidating more of its vendors to occupy Proton City, resolve the Lotus-connection from loss-making to a profit-generating arm, continue its on-going valueengineering process to increase quality and reduce cost, explore emerging markets like Africa, the Middle East and perhaps South America, and begin plotting new assembly plants in strategic locations globally. They have also announced that new replacement models for all their existing lines will begin rolling out in 2015. The launch and success of the highly anticipated EMAS, Proton’s full EV car designed by Italdesign Giugiaro, may be a remarkable turning point if Proton can pull it off. Only time will tell. FOREIGN CAR BRANDS & THEIR ROLES If Proton didn’t exist, Malaysians would be paying the price of a Perodua Myvi for a Volkswagen Polo, and Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic might well be the bestselling family cars. Perhaps more sports cars would be more accessible compared to the current reality where it is pretty much restricted to those with deeper pockets. But Proton does exist, for 28 years to be exact. The protection-policies it had from the government made our overall automotive industry less competitive compared to our neighbours. Furthermore, Malaysia’s ambition to be the automotive hub of the ASEAN region is thwarted by higher costs of setup and management, namely land, tax and labour. Malaysia does not possess the market volume of its two big neighbours; Indonesia and Thailand. It is no wonder why the massive floods in Thailand in 2011 has hardly deterred any of the big names to relocate.
FEATURE STORY : MALAYSIAN AUTOMOTIVE SCENE
THAILAND INDONESIA MALAYSIA 572,150 PHILIPPINES 55,360 VIETNAM 40,470
However, Malaysia has some valuable things going for it; skilled work force, superb infrastructure, newly introduced incentives by the Government and more. The results are showing. Honda Malaysia announced in March 2013 that it is expanding its plant in Melaka to increase its production capacity and also house a new R&D centre. It also worked closely with Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) to set up Malaysia’s first ever ASEAN New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) testing facility. Cars that have already been tested there include the Honda City and Proton Saga. A THRIVING AUTOMOTIVE ECOSYSTEM Lest we forget our second national car project, Perodua which is mainly owned by UMW, is in fact heavily backed by the Toyota Japan. Under the guise of a local-brand, Perodua continues to cater to the middle-to-lower income group, producing quality cars which are cheap and practical. Toyota, through Perodua, has contributed significantly towards developing local component and service vendors, and in the process creating many valuable jobs. Over the last 19 years of its operations, Perodua has gradually moved into Proton territory in terms of product offering and pricing. Like Proton, Perodua too has its share of export woes as their models are already in other markets under
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
the Daihatsu brand, and Perodua is losing its market share to cheaper foreign models. Nevertheless, Perodua has remained strongly profitable as most of its technologies and expertise are already provided for; they only need to continue pushing out new models, maintain its reputation for quality and provide good after sales service. The next 3 to 5 years will be interesting to see how Perodua and Proton slug it out to outdo each other and their foreign rivals. It won’t be surprising if the idea of a merger between the two local giants may reappear, even though it was conveniently rubbished last year. If it is the year 2015 and you are reading this article, it is likely that many of the hopes we have outlined here regarding the transformation of the Malaysian automotive industry may have not yet been realised. One thing is for sure, the real winners in the end will be the Malaysian consumers and motorists.
TOP COUNTRIES FOR CAR PRODUCTION WORLDWIDE
MYTHBUSTED : CAR PRICE REDUCTIONS
THE MYTH ABOUT
CAR PRICE REDUCTIONS BY KENNETH SOW LET’S SAY THE GOVERNMENT REMOVED ALL “PROTECTION” FOR LOCAL CAR BRANDS, NAMELY PROTON, WOULD WE REALLY BE ABLE TO BUY A TOYOTA ALTIS OR A HONDA CIVIC FOR THE PRICE OF A PERSONA?
When was the last time you went to the cinema to watch a movie you’ve been anticipating due to a superb trailer? With all the hype and expectation, you brave the jams and congested parking lots, queue up next to a stream of screaming shouting kids for food and enter the momentary peacefulness of the dark theatre. Then the movie you’ve been waiting for is shown and at the end of it, you’re left feeling rather disappointed. Let’s face it; we’ve had our share of disappointments when the show turns out to be less than stellar; makes you wish you could go back to the counter and ask for a refund. Now, Malaysians are enticed with a different type of trailer, one that promises a reduction in household debt, improved product specifications and achieve world peace. Well, maybe not the last part but one that touches almost every Malaysian heart; the chance to own a vehicle without selling oneself to the bank for the many years.
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
There has been a lot of anticipation from the general public with regards to the reduction of car prices as promised. Ranging from 40% – 70% reduction in car prices have been made on both sides of the political divide prior to the GE13. This has made many Malaysians hold back their purchase of a new vehicle to see what happens next. After all, no one wants to be in a situation where if one were to finalise financing for a vehicle today only for that manufacturer to lower the price by 10% the next day! This wait-and-see attitude has resulted in declining sales of new vehicles for the 2nd consecutive month. Malaysia Automotive Association (MAA) reports that the total sales of new vehicles for the month of May 2013 is a more than 15% lower than the same period in 2012.
A press conference was recently called by the Malaysian Automotive Institute (MAI), the think-tank for the Ministry of International Trade and Industry’s (MITI) when it comes to drafting the nation’s automotive policies, to explain why one shouldn’t bother to wait to buy a car. Its CEO, Mr Mohamad Madani Sahari shares what makes up the price of a car here in Malaysia:
INTO SHOWROOM COST (ISC)
EX-FACTORY PRICE + DISTRIBUTION COST + GENERAL EXPENSES + PROFIT
ISC X DUTY RATE
OTHER COST ELEMENT
MARKETING & PROMOTION + OVERTRADE VALUE + DEALER’S MARGIN + ACCESSORIES + OTHERS
(A) +(B) + (C) x 10%
ON THE ROAD (OTR) PRICE =
Notice that OTR price does not include insurance, road tax, etc. which explains why certain manufacturers like Volkswagen does not factor this in when showing their selling prices. In addition, consider the following: With regards to excise duties, any fully imported (CBU) vehicles are slapped with duties ranging from 75% – 105% depending on engine displacement. With regards to import duties (up to 30%), ASEAN made cars are exempted so long as at least 40% of parts that makes up the car is sourced within ASEAN. Those who have purchased a CBU vehicle might have seen the Approved Permit (AP) and the Cost, Insurance & Freight (CIF) price of their vehicle and wonder how their car can be selling at twice its actual price once it crosses Port Klang’s gates? Like any tax-paying citizen, the general perception is that the government and its excise duty are to be blamed. But is this really true? Take a look at this: • The government collected RM7.143bil in the form of excise duties in 2012 • Total sales of vehicles in 2012 is RM74.85bil Assuming the numbers reported to the government above is correct, the excise duty represents only 9.5% of the total cost of vehicles. Something doesn’t quite add up here because if the excise duty holds the chunk of the cost, the government should be going to the bank with a bigger cheque than what it collected in 2012. SO WHAT MAKES OUR CAR PRICES SO HIGH THEN? Let’s look at the car price formula again; if the excise duty makes up about 9.5% of the total cost, then even at maximum 105% duty charge, the ISC will only make up about 10% since the excise duty depends on it. Therefore, the bulk of the remaining 80% goes elsewhere. One might argue why not go the CKD route? Then again, why on earth are our CKD prices so expensive, with little or no savings (for those like the CKD Honda Jazz and Mazda CX-5 which saw
omissions of kits in line with the marginal price decrease)? Answer: Taxes on parts (which can be 30-50%) and company profits (look at Other Cost Elements). This is where MAI claims that certain manufacturers are making abnormally high profits. With the Sales Tax capped and applied across the board at a 10% rate of A, B and C combined, the main 60-ish% of the remaining cost comes predominantly from the Other Cost Elements. It is not difficult to point the finger at manufacturers who may have had significant savings in the ex-factory price due to increase local content. As mentioned by Mr Mohamad Madani Sahari, some of these manufacturers don’t even need to pay custom excise duties on parts due to value added activities in Malaysia. So the question is, where do we go from here? MAI’s CEO said the key reason why these companies can earn such levels of income is due to lack of competition in the market. MAI’s solution is to increase competition by liberalising the market. By having more vehicle choices, the market place will force each manufacturer to be more competitive in terms of specs and pricing. So the next big question is, how long do Malaysians have to wait before the market is liberalised? When are current (and future) manufacturers going to up their ante and provide better specifications, increase the number of showrooms and service centres, improve after sales services and ultimately reduce profits and decrease OTR prices? It may take years before we can see a level playing field for all. Coming back to the crux of the matter, we conclude that the main culprit for the relative high price of a vehicle is not entirely due to excise duties. Pushing for the government to reduce or abolish the excise duty would see some decrease in the overall costing, but the reduction may not be noticeably transferred to the public as some manufacturers are more profit driven than others. We could expect lower car prices in time, possibly if and when the government introduces new transparencies in future automotive policies. However, it is reasonable to conclude that we won’t see anything drastic anytime soon. Here’s one last important point to consider. Let’s say that the government actually removed all “protection” for all locally made cars, namely Proton, would we really be able to buy a Toyota Altis or a Honda Civic for the price of a Persona? Let’s face it. Manufacturers and distributors of imported car brands would definitely want to price their cars higher than our local brands, to differentiate their market-positioning and give consumers the perception that their cars are of higher standards and value. Branding 101! So even if the government levels the playing field, there’s no guarantee you’re going to see a Toyota Vios going for today’s price of a Perodua Myvi. Nice wishful thinking, though. To that end, just remember that however good a movie trailer is, the best way to enjoy a movie is to have little or no expectation of it! We should all have a certain degree of hope, but it never hurts to do a bit more research before believing all the hype. After all, there really isn’t a counter for us to go to when we don’t get what we’re paying for. Kenneth Sow, or “kenso” as he is more commonly known in the automotive circle, started his foray into the industry like any enthusiast; as a motorist. Like many in this field, he continues to be amazed at the never-ending chapter in the automotive industry. He is a seasoned writer and car reviewer for his popular automotive blog titled kensomuse.
AAM ROAD SAFETY : ADVANCE DEFENSIVE DRIVING COURSE
ADVANCE DEFENSIVE DRIVING COURSE GODRIVE REVIEWS THIS UNIQUE AND
CHALLENGING TRAINING COURSE, GETTING RIGHT INTO THE THICK OF SPINS AND SKIDS WITH AAM PROFESSIONALS.
“WHY AN ADVANCE DRIVING COURSE?” It was the first question the instructor asked us before the course even started. Most said they wanted to be better drivers. One even said “I want to learn to drift!” “Seriously, when was the last time you attended a class about driving?” asked the instructor again. Now that was a valid question that made the class go silent. We probably had our L-license way back in the day and never had any driving lesson since. Worst still, we probably picked up questionable driving skills and habits from our own peers and other roads users - monkey see monkey do, right or wrong. Make no mistake; this is not the Top Gun school of driving. The AAM Advance & Defensive Driving Course (AADDC) aims to give hands-on training to equip drivers with experience in handling tricky situations on the road. Yes, experience. And this is the experience one would have in this exciting one-day course. 58
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
THEORY SESSION 0900—1200 Okay, classroom sessions are never really that exciting. 15 of us were seated in a seminar room with our senior instructor, Mohamed Fauzan, leading the theory session. Fauzan spent the first 10 minutes hammering down the main questions and objectives of the course with ease (he must have done this hundreds of times). The serious matters got our attention:
We were challenged to illusion tests with Rorschach-like images. The end result was all too clear as each of us constantly had different answers. It’s true that while drivers on the road may see the same thing, each will assess and react differently, based on their own individual experiences and habits. Now we know what we needed to fix; ourselves! There is no way we can compress 3 quality hours of theory into this article. Ultimately, this session teaches us to value and incorporate a systematic driving approach based on “SIPDE”, which simply means: • Search and scan continuously while driving • Identify your situation correctly • Predict the worst and be prepared • Decide accurately and quickly • Execute your decision in the proper, safe and realistic manner With the theory session concluded, we had our lunch at the hotel and then it was time to put our brains and brawns to the test at the track!
• Driving is the most dangerous activity we do every day, and we seem to take it for granted. • 17 people lose their lives in Malaysian road fatalities each day, on average. • That’s approximately 6,000 deaths each year, more than even the worst viral outbreak in Malaysian history. • Accidents can be easily avoided if all drivers had defensive driving knowledge, skill and experience.
PRACTICAL TRAINING 1300—1600
If that didn’t get the message across, we were reminded about the consequences of beng involved in an accident. If we’re lucky enough to avoid death, we would still face loss of time in making police reports and getting our cars fixed. If it resulted in causing another’s death, that would mean time behind bars!
We were welcomed by a group of professional trainers at the open air car park adjacent to the Shah Alam Stadium. Waiting for us were 3 C-segment sedans and a test track lined with driving cones. This session would consist of 3 exercises; slalom test, braking test and the skid control test.
Now that we got the picture, we were re-introduced to things we already thought we knew, such as airbags and the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), albeit with a deeper insight. Fauzan showed us slides and videos of the mechanics behind each equipment, what it is meant to do and how all of them worked together to save lives.
Part 1 – Slalom Test
Up till then, most of us thought “SRS” was a brand of airbags. Nope; it’s a simple abbreviation for Supplemental Restraint System. Why supplemental? Airbags won’t save lives without the use of the seatbelt. Even what we take for granted like the headrest isn’t there for aesthetics; it actually is a head-restraint for preventing whiplash. Of course, engineers and carmakers can throw in generous amounts of safety equipment (leaving us with the hefty price tag that follows), but Fauzan’s journey brought us to the ultimate fact; road safety depends not on the vehicle alone, but more so on the human behind the wheel. This is where it got really interesting.
Before we got a crack at the track, we were divided into groups of 5 persons per car. Each trainer then explained the basics of correct driving practices. For beginners, it was about how to adjust the optimum seating position, mirror adjustment and steering technique. Some of us would say “Yeah, I knew that”, but at this point, it’s good to just forget everything and absorb the details from scratch. For instance, it’s common belief that the best hand placement on the steering wheel is the “10-2” position. This was true in the past. Now with airbags inflating at a whopping 300kph, you wouldn’t want your arms broken by the airbag in an accident, would you? Hence for modern cars, the new optimum position is “9-3”. The simple slalom test eventually lets us practice our new techniques, with other skills such as attention, throttle control and best of all, patience. 59
Part 2 – Braking Test
Things started looking dicey when an instructor started laying down oil onto the track. We were given a demo about ABS braking on slippery roads, with an instructor attacking the oil-laid track with full brakes once at 60kph, and another at 80kph. To our surprise, while the ABS helped the car stop, it came to a full stop some 70 meters away at 60kph, and almost 150 meters away at 80kph! That extra 20kph makes a huge difference! Our task then was to come in hot at 60kph and slam the brakes upon entry. Wait, there’s a cone some 40 meters after that? Yup, we had to avoid that under braking too. So we did it, feeling the ABS pulsating rapidly as it kept the wheels from locking and giving us the grip to steer away from the obstacle. Scary on the first try, but the experience gave us a newfound confidence by our second run.
On the third try, we had to approach at 80kph. As confident as the first 2 runs, each of us did it without hesitation, until the point when we were about to brake…. someone walked into our path!!! That got our adrenaline gushing on overdrive! It seems that our professional trainers had something up their sleeves. As part of the real-life experience promised, one of them deliberately walked towards the obstacle to add a real hazard moment to throw the trainee into panic. Not to worry though, as no one was harmed or killed during the course. They are after all, professionals and certified trainers!
Part 3 – Skid-Control Test
Our hearts were still pounding hard from the surprise scare of the braking test when we were briefed about the third test. Some of us had our hands still shivering! Before this test, we were given a quick lesson on car physics. Handling phenomenon such as understeer, oversteer and aquaplaning were explained with the use of a water bottle. We can’t show how this water bottle demo unfolded, but we can tell you this;
NOT TO WORRY THOUGH, AS NO ONE WAS HARMED OR KILLED DURING THE COURSE. THEY ARE AFTER ALL, PROFESSIONALS AND CERTIFIED TRAINERS!
when you accelerate the weight of the car shifts to the back wheels, vice versa the weight moves to the front wheels when you brake. This is the most fundamental basis for car-control. Once again, we speed into the track at around 60 – 80kph. This time instead of braking, we bank left. At this point, the instructor will pull the handbrake. This action locks the wheels behind, throwing the car into oversteer (in other words, a violent skid!). It is the drivers job to release the throttle, lock his or her eyes on the target (an exit marker placed 100m away) and let the hands do the instinctive steering to stabilize the car and take it out of the track safely. Sounds easy, right? Actually, it was. The parking lot where the makeshift track was set up is expansive, giving you much room to manoeuvre. Also, the cars provided were good cars that won’t topple over even in a sideways skid. In our session, we had a Honda City, a Toyota Altis and a Proton Persona. It was during this last test that it finally sank in; we never had the chance to learn this before. To some of us, there was a feeling of regret for the knowledge and experience afforded today could have prevented an accident not so long ago. Or maybe I’m just speaking for myself! All in all, the 3 hours of sitting in the seminar-styled theory session, enduring the heat of day at the test track, and putting our driving to the test was more than worth it. We explored and mastered the limits of car control, our own driving abilities, and our fears of the unknown. In line with the objectives of the AADDC, we left the track with our certificates and a sense of accomplishment. The results were almost immediate as we applied our new skills when we drove off the car park.
But this is just the basic course. AAM offers another advanced daylong course known as the “Commentary Driving Course” that takes defensive driving to a whole different level. We will cover this in our future edition of GoDrive.
One dark night in 2009, I had an accident when I braked hard to avoid a black dog, on an oily road near Port Klang. I know now that had I attended the AADDC earlier, I would have emerged unscathed. For the record, that black dog survived, but not the car.
Meantime, if you’re interested to emulate the experience we had at the AADDC, you can contact 03-55104679 or email email@example.com for more information.
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
AAM SAFETY : CHECK ENGINE LIGHTS
CHECK ENGINE LIGHTS MANY ARE BAFFLED AND CLUELESS WHEN THE CHECK-ENGINE LIGHT COMES ON. WHEN THAT HAPPENS, YOU MAY THINK YOU STILL HAVE SOME TIME TO CHECK IN AT THE MECHANIC’S LATER. WHAT’S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN? THE CAR STILL WORKS, RIGHT?
Not really. The Check-Engine light was designed to warn you about faulty functions in your car, which, if left unattended, may leave you stranded by the road side at any possible moment. In other words, this light means serious business! An on board computer (or more commonly known as the ECU) receives inputs from many different sensors and input devices and sends control signals to valves, controllers and other output devices. It also controls many precision processes in the optimal running of the vehicle. The computer also monitors problems with the catalytic converter, transmission, engine and emission systems. Faults such as bad oxygen and throttle sensor malfunction causes poor mileage and affects performance. When the computer detects a problem with one of these inputs or can’t control something properly, it makes a record of the problem and, lo and behold, the faithful Check-Engine Light is on!
Should a sensor fail, the computer compensates by using another sensor to calculate. If that fails too, your vehicle may breakdown on you just as you are rushing to the most important engagement in your life. “My car is still running well, why do I need to fix the problem?” If you keep driving as the problem doesn’t seem to affect anything, bigger problems may crop up unnoticed. Remember that there is only one check-engine light, which turns on when one or more problems appear. Hence, the moment the Check-Engine Light turns on, you’ll need to get your car checked (or repaired) at the nearest service centre as soon as possible. Your mechanic should be able to read the computer’s report on the error (or errors) and repair your ride accordingly. The light will disappear if all problems have been resolved. Even if the light was on for a tiny problem, it’s good to act on it before it’s too late and you’re left stranded on a roadside thinking “Why didn’t I listen to my car?”
MOTORSPORTS : SUPER TROFEO ROUND 2
SUPER TROFEO ROUND 2 STORMS MALAYSIA Lamborghini surged across the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur on 28 to 30 June 2013, as new and exciting dynamics, upgrades and diversity of gentlemen drivers took on the Sepang International Circuit (SIC). Last year, history was made when Sepang was chosen to launch the inaugural Super Trofeo Series in the Asian continent. After a spectacular start to this year’s season at the Shanghai International Circuit, Malaysia played host to the second round presented by Italian luxury sports car manufacturer Automobili Lamborghini and Swiss luxury watchmaker, Blancpain. This edition of the Super Trofeo was even more special with the participation of two new Malaysian teams, the celebrated actor/singer Ryu Si-won of Korea, and for the first time ever two female competitors, Rally Marina Sa of Indonesia and Mika Kagoshima of Japan.
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
Following Friday’s 30-minute practice session, two 15-minute qualifyiing rounds were run to determine the starting grid for the two races over the weekend. In Race 1 on Saturday, Group A saw an epic performance by Kazushi Kitaura and Hideto Yasuoka (#10) from Japan who won ahead of home-team Zen Low of Malaysia and Dilantha Malagamuwa of Sri Lanka (#69). Pole-sitter and victors from Shanghai, Max Wiser/Jiang Xin (#9) completed the podium. This race also saw local hero Afiq Ikhwan (#2) leading the pack in the later part of the race until the final lap when his tyres were spent and he dropped back to finish in fifth place. Qualifying in 4th place for Race 2 on Sunday, 22 year-old Afiq made amends by putting on an inspired drive to win. Close behind was Max Wiser/Jiang Xin (#9) and Yakinori Taniguchi (#12) of Japan. “It was fantastic to watch this second round in Malaysia and to revisit this remarkable circuit. The exclusive lifestyle demonstrated with Super Trofeo is an unmistakable gene of Lamborghini motorsport that puts the competing gentlemen drivers at the forefront of extraordinary racing,” said Cristiano Inverni, Coordinator of Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia Series. The VIP lounge was furnished with the opulence of all things Lamborghini, as drivers, their families and friends indulged in luxurious Italian cuisine and ambience. Guests also enjoyed the Gallardo LP 560-4, whose provocative design and sophisticated craftmanship lay adjacent to its racing-trim derivative on track. Note: Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia Series expresses great sadness on the tragic accident at the first Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo race at Paul Ricard on June 30 which claimed the life of Andrea Mamé of car #11. Automobili Lamborghini President and CEO Stephan Winkelmann expressed his personal sadness and extended the condolences of all the company to Andrea’s family and team.
WATCH THE VIDEO
FEATURED MEMBER : DATO’ HAJI AHMAD BIN HAJI SA’ADI
49 YEARS OF AAM MEMBERSHIP EXPERIENCE FOLLOWING OUR INTERESTING INTERVIEW WITH MR. UNGKU SHAFIK BIN UNGKU AHMAD IN OUR PREVIOUS EDITION, WE HAD THE PLEASURE OF INTERVIEWING YET ANOTHER HONORARY AAM LIFETIME MEMBER, DATO’ HJ. AHMAD BIN HJ. SA’ADI. THIS TIME, WE GET A REMARKABLE INSIGHT INTO BEING AN AAM MEMBER FOR 49 YEARS AS WELL AS A LITTLE MALAYSIAN AUTOMOTIVE HISTORY TRIVIA.
PLEASE TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF.
I grew up in a little town called Kota Baru in Perak, near Gopeng. I’ve lived through the Japanese Occupation, Merdeka, the Malaysian Emergency and more, so I’ve seen quite a lot. In 1960, I joined the government service after graduating from UM. I served as an Assistant District Officer (ADO) in Perak for 6 years and then got transferred to KL. Here, I have served in the Ministry of Defence, PM’s Department, Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) until 1986. In 1987, I was appointed the Perak State Secretary and was awarded the Darjah Datuk Paduka Cura Simanja Kini (DPCM) by His Highness Sultan Azlan Shah. I retired in 1990.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAR?
When I started working in 1960, the government offered car loans where they will deduct the monthly instalments from our salary. I used it to get my first car, the Triumph Herald for around RM4,000. It was a small car. To put things into perspective, back then a Mercedes would cost around RM12,000 and a Rolls Royce about RM70,000. It may sound cheap today, but the average salary then was about RM500 per month. So my first car wasn’t really that cheap!
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
WHAT CAR DO YOU DRIVE NOW AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE IT? I drive a Honda Accord. It is very comfortable for long distance drives although at my age, I don’t travel out too far anymore. It’s a big and practical car and I like it.
WHEN AND WHY DID YOU SIGN UP TO BE AN AAM MEMBER?
Back then, my job required me to drive a lot to get around the country. I signed up for AAM membership in 1964 because it is an organisation that looks after its members. Everything they do from car breakdown assistance to facilitating license renewal, they did it in the interest of helping motorists all over Malaysia.
WHAT MADE YOU UPGRADE TO LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP? Once I met the minimum requirement* in the 70s, I upgraded my membership as I didn’t want to keep paying the annual fees. It was better to pay RM180 for the lifetime membership and enjoy all of AAM’s benefits for the rest of my life. (He was later surprised to hear that the Lifetime Membership is RM2,000 today.) I guess I made the right choice. Haha!
* To be eligible for Lifetime Membership, an AAM member has to be an Ordinary Member for at least 5 years.
DURING YOUR 49 YEARS OF MEMBERSHIP, WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE AAM MOMENT YOU’VE HAD? None in particular, really. All I can say is that AAM has always been there when I needed them to tow my car, replace my flat batteries (which is cheaper than buying elsewhere), facilitating my license and road tax renewals and more. That’s good enough for me and I’m with their service all the time.
HOW WOULD YOU CONVINCE SOMEONE TO BE AN AAM MEMBER?
As a car owner, it’s good to sign up to enjoy what AAM has to offer. They’ve always looked after the interests of all motorists; they’ve not only provided breakdown service but also have been strong advocates of safe-driving practises, respect for one another on the road, respect for the rules and road safety. No other organisation does these and we need to continue supporting them.
FOR MANY YEARS, AAM HAS RETAINED A MINIMUM MEMBERSHIP FEE OF RM75 PER ANNUM, MAKING IT AMONG THE LOWEST AA MEMBERSHIP RATE IN THE WORLD. AFTER 49 YEARS AS A MEMBER, DO YOU THINK THAT THIS RATE IS REASONABLE (AND WHY)? I personally think it should be higher. I mean, back in my time, I can buy things with 1 sen and I can fill my stomach with just 10 sen! The value members get from AAM is much more than the annual fee they pay today. But if AAM can continue to offer all their services and maintain the annual fee at RM75, I hope more young people will see the value and sign up.
LAST YEAR, AAM MARKED ITS 80TH ANNIVERSARY WITH A HOST OF NEW SERVICES AND MORE. IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT CAN AAM DO TO IMPROVE FURTHER?
AAM’s membership numbers must increase. There are over 10 million passenger cars on Malaysian roads and I would like to see at least 10% of them as AAM members; that’s 1 million members. Why? Imagine what AAM is offering now with 300,000 members. Now, imagine what they can give if they had 1,000,000 members! As a non-profit organisation, AAM has an important role in our motoring community and I wish more people will see the importance of supporting AAM for many more years to come. More members mean more revenue for AAM and they can afford to provide more value-added services. At the end, it is the motorists themselves who will benefit the most.
INDUSTRY NEWS : HYUNDAI SANTA FE Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors has unveiled its new Inokom Santa Fe, a 7-seater midsize SUV with a new design concept called Storm Edge, which captures the strong and dynamic image created by nature during the formation of a storm. The design incorporates the Hyundai family look hexagonal grille, sporty front and back bumper skid plate, wide panoramic sunroof, HID headlamps and LED rear spoiler with highmounted stop lamp, creating a futuristic and an urban-style SUV image. The interior is equally luxurious and modern with the eye-catching steering wheel, a hi-tech 4.2-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) LCD information display instrument, supervision cluster and a dual full auto air conditioner control. The Santa Fe’s attractive and distinctive design has won itself numerous awards including the Australian International Design Awards 2013 and the Good Design Awards 2013 by The Chicago Anthenaeum: Musuem of Architecture and Design in the United States.
THE NEW SANTA FE: THE LEADING MODERN
A Redefined Luxurious SUV Inspired By A New Design Concept Called Storm Edge
As with all Hyundai models, the new Santa Fe also features a state-of-the-art safety system that offers optimal driving stability. The new Santa Fe is available in four variants, namely Theta II 2.4 Elegance (RM163, 888 OTR*) Theta II 2.4 Executive Plus (RM177, 888 OTR*), R 2.2 VGT Elegance (RM176, 888 OTR*) and R 2.2 VGT Executive Plus (RM189, 888 OTR*). HSDM offers a 5-year or 300,000km (whichever comes first) extended warranty on all its new passenger vehicles. Hyundai’s extended warranty is in accordance to its manufacturing warranty. A 24-hour road assist service is also now available to new and existing Hyundai vehicles. New Santa Fe owners will also get a taste of luxurious lifestyle and premium VIP services with The Leader Card, which redefines the ownership experience of a SUV. VIP privileges include the luxury concierge services and personalised medical assistance.
WHAT COMES AFTER
HAVING TROUBLE TRYING TO UNDERSTAND WHAT NUMBER PLATE COMES AFTER WYY 9999? HERE’S THE NEW SYSTEM PRESENTED BY THE MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT. CRACK THE CODE! THE CURRENT SERIES (EXPECTED TO END IN JULY 2013)— WA 1, WA 2, ... WYY 9999 THE NEW SERIES FORMAT STARTS LIKE THIS— WA 1A, WA 2A, ... WA 9999 A WA 1B, WA 2B, ... WA 9999B ... and goes on till WA 9999Y THE FORMAT CONTINUES LIKE THIS— WB 1A, WB 2A, ... WB 9999 A WB 1B, WB 2B, ... WB 9999B ... and goes on all the way till WY 9999Y THE NEXT SERIES CONTINUES LIKE THIS— WAA 1A, WAA 2A, ... WAA 9999A WAA 1B, WAA 2B, ... WAA 9999B ... and goes on till WAA 9999Y
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
IF THAT’S NOT ENOUGH NUMBERS FOR YOU, IT GOES ON— WAB 1A, WAB 2A, ... WAB 9999A WAB 1B, WAB 2B, ... WAB 9999B ... and goes on till WAY 9999Y OH WAIT... WHAT HAPPENS AFTER WAY 9999Y? WBA 1A, WBA 2A, ... WBA 9999A WBA 1B, WBA 2B, ... WBA 9999B AND IT GOES ON TILL
AAM PROMOTIONS : JULY 2013
AAMPROMOTIONS CITIBANK CARD MEMBER EXCLUSIVE PROMOTION
AAM-YAWAS PROMOTION ENJOY SPECIAL RATE PROMOTION WHEN YOU SIGN UP FOR AAM MEMBERSHIP PACKAGE Exclusive to all Yawas-AAM Card Members 1 YEAR AAM ELITE MEMBERSHIP - RM50 (Normal Rate RM 125) Offer valid June 2013 - June 2014
ENJOY SAVINGS OF UP TO 40% WHEN YOU SIGN UP FOR AAM BASIC MEMBERSHIP TODAY Exclusive to all Citibank Card Members. 1 YEAR AAM BASIC MEMBERSHIP— RM60 (Normal Rate RM100) 2 YEARS AAM BASIC MEMBERSHIP— RM110 (Normal Rate RM175) 3 YEARS AAM BASIC MEMBERSHIP— RM195 (FREE Road Safety Torchlight)
BALIK KAMPUNG HARI RAYA PROMOTION Service Your Car at AAM Automotive Centre Batu Caves
Offer valid 15 May 2013 - 15 November 2013
SEMI SYNTHETIC PACKAGE ONLY RM100
LUBE SERVICE PACKAGES
Call us now for Service Appointment— TEL 03 6188 1932 FAX 03 6185 2433 HP 012 2741566
SPRAY PAINTING PROMOTION PETRONAS MESRA CARD ENJOY OUR SPECIAL MEMBERSHIP PROMOTION WHEN YOU SIGN UP FOR A BASIC AAM MEMBERSHIP PACKAGE Exclusive to all Mesra Card Members. 2 YEARS AAM BASIC MEMBERSHIP— RM110 (Normal Rate RM175) + Complimentary RM20 Voucher Offer valid July 2013 - July 2014
ENJOY GREAT SAVINGS ON SPRAY PAINTING AT AAM AUTOMOTIVE CENTRE BATU CAVES 2K MICA METALLIC EXTERNAL RE-SPRAY FROM RM1,750 (Normal Price RM2,180) 2K MICA METALLIC COMPLETE RE-SPRAY FROM RM2,500 (Normal Price RM2,800) Only PPG ICI Paint Material used. Call us now— TEL 03 6188 1932 67
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
TO PREVENT MY AAM MEMBERSHIP CARD FROP LAPSING, PLEASE CHARGE THE RENEWAL FEE OF CREDIT/CHARGE CARD INDICATED UNTIL FURTHER WRITTEN NOTICE. I HEREBY DECLARE THAT I WISH TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE SERVICES OF AAM AND THE ABOVE INFORMATION IS TRUE AND ACCURATE. I HAVE READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS AS PRINTED ON THIS FORM AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE SAME AMENDMENTS MADE THERETO. I AUTHORISE YOU UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE TO CHARGE MY CREDIT/CHARGE CARD FOR THE RENEWAL OR THE REPLACEMENT THERE OF THE SUM OF RM 125 FOR THE ELITE FEMME (RM25 ENTRANCE FEE & RM75 ANNUAL FEE) BEING THE NEW MEMBER SUMBSCRIPTION FEE, THE RENEWAL FEE (AS DEFINED UNDER TERMS & CONDITIONS) OR ANY OTHER AMOUNTS THAT MAY BECOME DUE.
AAM GODRIVE • JUN/JUL/AUG 2013 ISSUE
AAM BRANCHES/ SUBSIDIARIES DIRECTORY SHAH ALAM Headquarters (HQ) 225, Block 4, No.7, Persiaran Sukan Laman Seri Business Park Section 13, 40100 Shah Alam Selangor Darul Ehsan Tel: 03 – 5511 1932 Fax: 03 – 5511 2519 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org KUALA LUMPUR AAM KL Main Lot No.3.22, 2nd Floor Ampang Park Shopping Centre Jalan Ampang 50450 Kuala Lumpur Tel : 03 - 2163 5210 Fax: 03 – 2163 5085 Email: email@example.com SELANGOR AAM Subang Jaya No. 16-2, 2nd Floor Subang Business Centre Jalan USJ 9/5T 47620 UEP Subang Jaya Selangor Tel : 03 – 8024 0808 Fax: 03 – 8023 5006 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org AAM Petaling Jaya AM 18, Mezzanine Floor, Corner Unit PJ Industrial Park, Jalan Kemajuan 46200 Petaling Jaya Selangor. Tel : 03 – 7956 3043 Fax: 03 – 7958 1163 Email: email@example.com AAM Klang NO.27,PTNO.21298, GroundFloor,JalanTiara5, BandarBaruKlang 41150 Klang, Selangor Tel : 03 – 3343 1412 Fax: 03 – 3343 1419 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Seri Kembangan No. 2B-1, Jalan Raya Dua Kawasan Perusahaan Seri Kembangan 43300 Seri Kembangan Selangor Darul Ehsan Tel: 03-8940 9100 Fax: 03-8940 0879 AAM Damansara Perdana Lot No. P 1102,FA1 Tropics Shopping Centre Bandar Damansara Perdana 47820 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan Tel : 03-7710 5121 Fax: 03-7710 5891
PULAU PINANG AAM Pulau Pinang 116, Ground Floor, Jalan Sungai Pinang 10150 Pulau Pinang. Tel : 04 – 2820996 Fax: 04 – 2820653 Email: email@example.com
PAHANG AAM Kuantan E 2348, Jalan Dato’ Wong Ah Jang 25100 Kuantan, Pahang. Tel : 09 – 515 8620 Fax: 09 – 515 8610 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
AAM Butterworth No. 2679, Ground Floor, Taman Inderawasih, Jalan Chain Ferry, 13600 Prai, Pulau Pinang. Tel : 04 – 3904545 Fax: 04 – 3971133 Email: email@example.com
KELANTAN AAM Kota Bahru No. 1314A, Tingkat Bawah Wisma Yati, Jalan Long Yunus 15200 Kota Bahru, Kelantan. Tel : 09 – 746 1100 Fax: 09 – 746 1166 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
KEDAH AAM Sungai Petani No.27 Ground Floor, Jalan Perdana Heights 2/1, Perdana Heights, 08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah Darul Aman Tel : 04 – 421 6014 Fax: 04 – 421 5978 Email: email@example.com NEGERI SEMBILAN AAM Seremban 20, Jalan Durian Emas 3, Betaria Business Centre Off Jalan Dato’ Siamang Gagap 70400 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan Tel : 06 – 761 7630 Fax: 06 – 761 9561 PERAK AAM Ipoh 128C, Jalan Kuala Kangsar 30010 Ipoh, Perak. Tel : 05 – 506 4846 Fax: 05 – 506 3075 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org JOHOR AAM Johor Bahru No. 15. Jalan Dato Ja’afar 1 Taman Dato Onn 80350 Johor Bahru Tel : 07 – 222 6527 Fax: 07 – 222 7259 Email: email@example.com MELAKA AAM Melaka No.147D-1, Jalan Kesidang 1/10, Taman Kesidang 1, Lorong Pandan, 75200 Melaka Tel : 06 – 335 4850 Fax: 06 – 335 1526 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
KUALA TERENGGANU AAM Kuala Terengganu 76-I, Wisma Ali Long, Jalan Air Jernih 23000 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu. Tel : 09 – 624 1897 Fax: 09 – 624 1866 Email: email@example.com AAM SUBSIDIARIES AAM Travel Sdn Bhd G25, Block 4, No.7 Persiaran Sukan Laman Seri Business Park Section 13, 40100 Shah Alam Selangor Darul Ehsan Tel: 03 – 5510 4700 Fax: 03 – 5510 4681 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org GM :Mr.Raymond Boey AAM Automotive Centre Sdn Bhd Lot 15 Jalan Perusahaan 4 Kawasan Industri Batu Caves 68100 Batu Caves Selangor Darul Ehsan Tel : 03 – 6188 1932 Fax: 03 – 6185 2433 Email: email@example.com AAM Motorsports Sdn Bhd G26, Block 4, No.7 Persiaran Sukan Laman Seri Business Park Section 13, 40100 Shah Alam Selangor Darul Ehsan Tel : 03 – 5510 4679 Fax: 03 – 5511 3426 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org