By Tengku Noor Shamsiah Tengku Abdullah
KUALA LUMPUR: Dec 1 – The East Coast Economic Regional Development Council (ECERDC) has taken a step forward in expanding the development of the recreational vehicle (RV) industry in Malaysia by awarding the first Vehicle Type Approval (VTA) certificate to Europe’s leading recreational vehicle (RV) leader from Germany, Knaus Tabbert AG for two of its caravan models.
The two caravans that have obtained the type approval are the Knaus Sport 500 and the Sudwind 450.
Knaus Tabbert is one of the leading manufacturer of motorhomes, caravans, camper vans and CUV in Europe.
VTA’s approval for roadworthiness will allow authorised dealers and sellers of new caravans to come under their own category under the Road Transport Department’s (JPJ) classification, thus easing their financing and insurance requirements.
The VTA certificate handover ceremony took place at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Tower 7 building here and was presented by the Director General of the Road Transport Department (JPJ), Datuk Zailani Hashim to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Knaus Tabbert AG, Wolfgang Speck on Tuesday .
Among others, the ceremony was witnessed by MITI Deputy Secretary General (Industry), Datuk Seri Norazman Ayob and ECERDC CEO, Datuk Baidzawi Che Mat.
As the government agency responsible for monitoring and managing the registration and licensing of motor vehicles, JPJ is committed to assisting ECERDC and automotive investors in managing the RV industry in a systematic, resilient and innovative manner, Zailani said.
“This is to ensure the safety of the industry and reduce the risk of accidents, as well as at the same time drive a high-quality industry with safety,” he said during the ceremony.
Meanwhile, Baidzawi said the type approval for RV to Knaus Tabbert marks a new milestone for ECERDC as it will attract more investment into the sector and drive the RV industry in Malaysia.
“This will ultimately bring in the supply chain for the production of RV parts in the future and create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for local people, especially in the ECER region.”
In the meantime, Knaus Tabbert AG’s CEO Speck expressed his confidence in the growth potential of the RV industry in Malaysia and hoped to work with ECERDC to establish an RV manufacturing facility in the ECER region.
“Demand for the recreational vehicle (RV) industry has shown a significant increase globally and this market is projected to grow into a potential multi-billion dollar industry in Malaysia by the next five to ten years. “
According to him, Malaysia, which has FTAs with China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand has great potential to become a caravan hub for the Asia Pacific region.
He said, the RV industry is still in its infancy in Malaysia compared to Australia, where the industry is estimated to be worth 11 billion US dollars for a country with 26 million people.
“We also hope to work with Malaysian companies for distributorship opportunities and open more caravan parks in the country to encourage more Malaysians to explore this new lifestyle and take full advantage of the country’s beautiful landscape,” explained Speck.
MITI Deputy Sect-Gen, Norazman said the certification is the stepping stone for Knaus Tabbert, in realising the potential of the RV industry in Malaysia and especially in the East Coast Economic Region.