Mustapa said that how the companies are planning to consolidate is up to them and they are free to choose whichever model they feel are most effective and that the most important factor is to they have put in effort to increase productivity and efficiency while minimizing cost. On top of that, they must also increase their competitiveness in the local automotive sector.
The suggestion by Najib is timely and Mustapa also said that discussions have already started between the players. He has already been briefed on what is going on and that implementation will be next on the agenda. He said “It makes good sense. If the companies cooperate, there are many things that can be shared and this can be cost saving,”
On Monday, an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) was signed between UiTM and the MAI (Malaysian Automotive Institute) where he also launched the Industry Led Automotive Graduate Apprenticeship Programme. Mustapa added that the current situation is that the consolidation of the local automotive companies is quite needed urgently because the scenario now is that there is a need to increase earnings from export, there are excess capacity and keen competition.
The programme launched was an apprenticeship program which was aimed for 60 mechanical enginnerring students where they will be spending 3 days every week in the class, where they will be taught the theoretical aspects while another 2 days in industry-related training. This can be quite effective because so far, graduates have been too ‘classroom based’ and did not possess the required skills demanded by the industry.