KLIM’s Diss: More Foreign Brands Please

KLIM’s Diss: More Foreign Brands Please

04/01/2011 0 By Administratus Prime

The Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show (KLIMS) 2010, which came to a close on Dec 12, drew mixed responses from 321,958 people that attended it during the 10-day tenure.

Probably the biggest gripe of all was that KLIMS, heralded as Malaysia’s biggest motoring event, was missing some big brands, in particular luxury car makers such as BMW, Mercedes and Audi.

Granted, KLIMS is no Paris or Tokyo Motors Show, but it offers an opportunity for people a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to get up, close and personal with your brand and product this writer included.

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According to one industry observer, there’s quite a bit of “red tape” involved just to showcase a car at a motor show.

“People want so see concept cars (at motor shows) and not vehicles that they can see everyday on the streets. To bring these cars in, the auto companies need to get the approval of their respective headquarters overseas.

“To fly in a vehicle like this into the country is also not cheap. Many players also prefer to display these cars at bigger motor shows that will attract a wider audience and larger media coverage,” he said.

Going forward, hopefully the big boys that decided to give the recent auto show a “pass” would reconsider making their presence felt at future events.

Your absence was felt by motoring enthusiasts, car lovers and thrill-seekers alike.

Nevertheless, Malaysia’s biggest motor show did fly in a couple of Hollywood movie stars for the event. Well, sort of.

On display was the Chevrolet Camaro (and the robot it turns into) from the Transformers movie and the Batmobile from the Batman Begins/The Dark Knight movies which were big draws at KLIMS and helped pulled in the crowds, especially kids.

Naza Quest, a member of the Naza Group and distributor of Chevrolet vehicles, is looking to capitalise on the movie’s (Transformers) popularity to sell the Camaro in Malaysia.

Early this month, in an interview at the opening of KLIMS, Naza Group joint executive chairman Datuk SM Faisal SM Nasimuddin said the company had received over 25 enquiries about the car.

Vehicles that appear in movies tend to help boost sales for auto companies. Perhaps Proton could use a similar strategy as part of its turnaround plan for sports car unit Group Lotus plc.

Back to KLIMS, despite the no shows from the foreign big boys, the event served as a great opportunity for both domestic and foreign auto makers to showcase their latest models that were either in production or at research and development stage.

National carmaker Proton Holdings Bhd raised a lot of eyebrows and apparently “wow-ed” the crowd by showcasing the five cars within its Pahlawan Series the Tuah, Jebat, Lekir, Lekiu and Kasturi.

Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) also impressed with its next-generation prototype, the Bezza.

One of the biggest highlights was the launch of Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s entry-level hybrid, the Insight, which, at RM98,000, will give other hybrid players a run for their money.

Overall, KLIMS was a good effort by all those that participated. However, here’s hoping that the next one will be bigger, better and include more automotive players headlining the show.

-TheStar/fastmotoring/rempire