Brunei Darussalam is the only ASEAN member country to post an increase in car sales from January to November 2020. The nation’s car sales rose 14.2 per cent to 12,505 compared to the same period in the previous year, according to the ASEAN Automotive Federation (AAF). No figures were available for December 2020. Despite the lack of figures for December 2020, Brunei’s car sales from January to November 2020 grew by five per cent compared to the whole year of 2019. October recorded the highest sales with 1,293 units followed by November with 1,285 units and September 1,257 units.
Brunei Darussalam is the only ASEAN member country to post an increase in car sales from January to November 2020.
ASEAN member countries registering lower motor vehicle sales in 2020 are Indonesia (-48.4 per cent), the Philippines (-39.5 per cent), Singapore (-37.6 per cent), Thailand (-21.4 per cent), Myanmar (-19.2 per cent), Malaysia (-13.5 per cent) and Vietnam (-8 per cent).
Motor vehicles sold in ASEAN declined by 29 per cent in 2020 compared to the previous year. The automobile industry has been heavily impacted worldwide during the pandemic, with reduced exports and domestic consumption around the world.
In line with the Brunei Darussalam National Climate Change Policy (BNCCP), the country embarked on an electric vehicle (EV) pilot project in March 2021.
Themed ‘Driving Towards a Greener Nation’, the project will run for two years and aims to achieve the objectives of ‘Strategy 3: Electric Vehicle’ under the BNCCP. The project will provide exposure to the use of EV, its advantages and charging stations. It also serves to study and identify public perception and response towards EV as a shift towards vehicles powered by alternative energy assess the marketability and the preparedness of potential users in the country.
It also aims to evaluate the needs and infrastructure related to EVs and other alternatives to be implemented by 2035. EV charging stations will be installed throughout different locations in all four districts, with Belait and Temburong districts as a priority. After two years of the project’s implementation, an assessment and study will be carried out to gauge public response and determine its effectiveness.
Established in 1987, Jati Transport Sdn Bhd is the sole distributor of Mercedes-Benz, offering high-quality sales and aftersales customer service. The new S-Class was unveiled in December 2021 with numerous innovations that provide driver support, protection and interaction including the driving assistance package, MBUX infotainment system and the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice assistant.
GHK Motors Sdn Bhd is the franchise distributor of Mitsubishi, Daihatsu, MG, Chevrolet and Chrysler vehicles, among others. The company recently introduced the Changan Auto flagship to the Sultanate, with the first lineup being an exquisite family sedan, the third generation of the Changan Alsvin.
Toyota and Lexus are distributed by NBT (Brunei) Sdn Bhd, with showrooms located at Gadong, Bunut and Kuala Belait. In early 2020, NBT held the first digital car launch in Brunei for its new Toyota model, notching a significant milestone in the local automobile industry.
Other authorised distributors in the country include Grand Motors Sdn Bhd (Kia, Mazda and Citroen), Indera Motors Sdn Bhd (Jaguar and Land Rover), Boustead Sdn Bhd (Suzuki and Nissan), Setia Motors (Hyundai) and Happy Motoring Co Sdn Bhd (Honda).
Established in 1997 under QAF Eurokars Sdn Bhd, Porsche Centre Brunei is the exclusive importer and dealer of Porsche vehicles and genuine spare parts in the country. The new Porsche Centre Brunei, which opened on January 30, 2021, offers top levels of customer service and a buying experience befitting of a would-be Porsche owner. “Individualisation and exclusivity are valued by our customers,” said General Manager Lahiru de Silva. “They now have the option to fully customise and configure their dream Porsche vehicles.”
The Fitting Lounge area at the Porsche Centre features an extensive selection of equipment and accessories including Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur and Paint-To-Sample options. Boasting the first air-conditioned workshop in the country, six operational working bays and state-of-the-art tools and equipment, the centre provides top levels of aftersales care with knowledgeable and proficient Porsche certified technicians. In addition, the service reception area is optimised for customer comfort, comprising an air-conditioned Direct Dialogue Bay for ease of communication while their Porsche is inspected by Porsche certified service advisors.
Also available are Porsche Tequipment accessories for customers to enhance and upgrade their Porsche to their liking and a dedicated “shop-in-shop”, featuring the latest collection of Porsche lifestyle products including luggage, watches and apparel. Leading the charge into a new era of electromobility, Porsche Centre Brunei is the first dealership in the country to be equipped with charging infrastructure and high-voltage battery repair capabilities. Alternating Current (AC) charging is now available for customers, with the installation of high-performance Direct Current (DC) chargers in the pipeline.
QAF Eurokars brought in Porsche’s first ever fully electric sports car, Taycan, in the first quarter of 2021. “With Porsche’s pioneering spirit, we believe it is possible to achieve growth while at the same time reducing negative environmental impact,” said the general manager. He added that the company has committed to a carbon neutral balance sheet across the business by 2030, covering its entire value chain, from development and production through to its supplier network and recycling.
“Brunei has already announced goals for green transportation solutions as a part of the Paris Climate Agreement (2015) announced by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in Brunei Vision 2035. Porsche Brunei welcomes these new policies and aims to increase uptake on battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in the country,” he said.
The Taycan is the first all-electric sports car that truly drives, handles and feels like a Porsche, and this is the perfect opportunity for would-be BEV customers who want an uncompromised sports car experience with sustainability as a key focus.
Porsche has set many more milestones in its journey to a more sustainable future. In the mid-term, the company has already announced a target of a 50-per-cent electrified sales mix by 2025. Every second Porsche will feature an electric drive system, whether it be BEVs or plugin hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).
The Porsche Taycan received a great response as an all-electric sports car, making up 20 per cent of Porsche Brunei’s sales volume in 2021. Porsche Brunei is aware of the competition from other manufacturers in the EV space and welcomes this, as it will accelerate the growth and uptake of EVs, changing hearts and minds with its drivers and increasing openness to switching to EVs.
“At Porsche, people come first. Economic success and social responsibility go hand-in-hand, and during the pandemic, managing customers’ expectations and employees’ health and safety were our top priorities,” said De Silva.
While the automotive industry was heavily affected by international and local logistics challenges, the Porsche Brunei team managed to overcome this through close collaboration along a well-functioning value chain and timely communication with its valued customers.
The Porsche Brunei team is fully focussed on providing customers with the best possible experience despite any challenge.
“Internally, our staff were also prioritised. The uncertainties presented by the global pandemic meant we had to make sure that a proactive business continuity plan was in place, with flexible work options and strong job security as key focus points. The Porsche Brunei team looked challenges straight in the eye and the results show how strong our spirit is,” said De Silva.
With QAF Eurokars celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the general manager said 2022 will be a momentous year as they celebrate their past while looking forward to an exciting future and the opportunities ahead.
The company will continue to turn customers’ sports car dreams into reality, staying true to the Porsche brand purpose: Driven by Dreams. With sustainability as a key topic, they will also look to accelerate EV uptake through the Taycan GTS, the latest and most emotive addition to the Taycan model line. Customers and Porsche enthusiasts can look forward to a thrilling line up of launches this year, including the Macan III, Cayenne Turbo GT, 911 GT3, 911 GT3 Touring, 911 GTS, 718 Spyder, Cayenne Platinum Edition, Panamera Platinum Edition and Cayman GT4 RS. The “Paint to Sample” offering will also be available, with more than 160 pre-approved colors and the option to specify a bespoke colour through “Paint to Sample Plus”.
Finally, the general manager of QAF Eurokars shared this excerpt which reflects on Porsche’s rich heritage and brand: “Porsche is not just a car brand; it’s a history with more than 30,000 race winnings, synonym for high end thinking, a sporty driving experience, elegant design, powerful functionality and superior service.”
Fully owned by QAF Brunei, QAF Auto Sdn Bhd is the exclusive importer and distributor of BMW vehicles in the country since 1996. The company has contributed significantly to establishing BMW as the leading premium automotive brand in Brunei.
QAF Auto recently announced the availability of two new BMW models – BMW X3 and BMW X4. For the second phase of the model cycle, BMW refreshed its Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) BMW and the Sports Activity Coupé (SAC) BMW with a new look, improved equipment and a range structure optimised for customers.
The redesigned front end and revised rear section emphasise the robust off-road look and sporty appearance of the third-generation BMW X3. Its coupé counterpart, the secondgeneration BMW X4, adopts the new front end and adds its own accentuation with the exclusive BMW mesh kidney grille and offers a particularly dynamic rear end. The refresh is rounded off with a modern interior, new equipment features and updated infotainment.
BMW M GmbH has also upgraded the M models of the BMW X3 and BMW X4 at the same time. A total of 11 paint finishes are available for BMW X3. The metallic paint finish Skyscraper Grey is new, and as is M Brooklyn Grey metallic from the M Sport package upwards, along with the two BMW Individual paint finishes Aventurine Red and Tanzanite Blue. Piedmont Red is exclusive to BMW X4. Customers also have a choice of numerous special BMW Individual paint finishes for the two models, including matte finishes such as Frozen Deep Grey. The range of special finishes available is to be further expanded in the future.
In refreshing the BMW X3 and BMW X4, BMW has reorganised and once again significantly expanded the range of modern driver assistance systems to enhance both comfort and safety. Available as standard, the Driving Assistant offers the driver comfortable relief and increased safety. Parking Assistant Plus now also includes the Reversing Assistant, which helps retrace a completed line (50 metres) in reverse.
Meanwhile, the My BMW app is a universal interface to the vehicle. It offers information on the state of the vehicle at all times and, depending on the options fitted, enables remote access functions such as vehicle location, locking and unlocking the doors or recording the vehicle’s surroundings via the Remote 3D View function.
The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is also constantly gaining additional capabilities in BMW X3 and BMW X4, creating an intensive bond between the driver and vehicle. Using verbal instructions, drivers can regulate the air conditioning, open and close the windows or change the driving experience switch modes. The digital assistant can also access the new News app which reads out the latest news to passengers and learn routines for the optimum driving experience.
Copyright 2019 Borneo Bulletin Yearbook 2019 All rights reserved.