IN light of its essential contribution towards the national and regional economy, the Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute’s (MARii) has voiced support for the automotive industry to resume its operations as soon as possible but under strict COVID-19 guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs)
This is because initiatives implemented by the industry have allowed for increased productivity and exportability of the automotive sector, according to its CEO Datuk Madani Sahari
“The automotive sector has established itself as an essential sector supported by a workforce of around 700,000,” Madani pointed out.
“Such momentum would be significantly impacted with another halt to operations by having to adhere to strict SOPs in accordance with recommendations of the Health Ministry and National Security Council (NSC).”
Under the recently implemented movement control order (MCO 2.0), car manufacturing plants located in Penang, Johor, Selangor, Melaka, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, and Labuan will not be allowed to operate during the MCO period (currently from Jan 13-26).
In the case of Proton, the ruling should have no bearing on the production of the Proton X50 which is handled by the Proton Tanjung Malim plant in Perak.
But that is in theory given that production of the car will be affected by parts from its suppliers, many of whom are located in Selangor and Penang.
That aside, car showrooms and service centres can operate as usual, according to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) list of businesses that are allowed to operate during the MCO.
In 2019, the automotive community exported at total of RM13.1 bil worth of parts and components to regional markets.
In 2020, the same sector has exceeded the RM10 bil export figure (ending October 2020), a significant performance given the economy was ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The industry – from OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to component manufacturers, aftersales service providers, tool makers and researchers, among others – practice a strong level of automation and lean production practices, allowing it to better adhere to SOPs enforced during the pandemic by the NSC,” noted Madani.
On the subject of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, Madani said the most immediate technology available in MARii is the ImmuSAFE tracker, an intelligent contact tracing application.
The device is designed specific for health management within industries operating during the pandemic.
“This application, driven by big data and IoT technologies, is ready for immediate deployment,” added Madan. – Jan 14, 2021