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FULL REVIEW: Hyundai Sonata LF Nu 2.0

In this Blog entry, I'm reviewing a Long overdue Review on the Sonata LF Nu 2.0 D-CVVT. You are looking at All new Sonata LF 2.0.  I d...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Who' s footing the bill? By IZWAN IDRIS

As promised, Article 3 of 3 as published in today's The Star Business. I published here for your reading pleasure. Another WELL WRITTEN, Interesting, NEUTRAL yet THOUGHT PROVOKING, Article. I wish I can WRITE SUCH GOOD ARTICLE, But honestly, I simply can't. NOT AT THE MOMENT... Hats off to the author, "Izwan Idris".

SOURCE 1: The Star, StarBizWeek.

Saturday October 31, 2009
Who’s footing the bill?
By IZWAN IDRIS

"THE Government dished out a whole lot of fresh manufacturing goodies after it reviewed the National Automotive Policy (NAP), which can be described as an attempt to improve on the flawed original.

But with car prices being kept at prohibitively high levels, consumers cannot be faulted if they feel like they are the ones footing the bill to keep the industry alive.

“It was a positive NAP for market players, but not so for consumers,’’ MIDF Research analysts Zulkifli Hamzah and Wan Azhar Mustapa said in their commentary on the industry.

Malaysia is set to remain among the countries with the highest numbers of new car buyers after the International Trade and Industry Ministry said on Wednesday that it would keep import duty and exercise duty structures for motor vehicle at the current rates.

Any price reduction, the Government said, would have to come from the industry.

As it is, most analysts as well as market players, including Malaysian Automotive Association president Datuk Aishah Ahmad, expect car prices to remain the same, at least for the rest of the year.

Under the Common Effective Preferential Tariff scheme, Malaysia must eliminate import tariff for CBU (completely built up) vehicles produced in the region before Jan 1, 2010, to comply with the Asean Free Trade Area (Afta) agreement.

Currently, there is a 5% import duty imposed for CBU cars and motorcycles under Afta.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said the Government was committed to honouring all its international obligations.

There is a chance for a slight price reduction for CBU car imports from neighbouring countries, but the final sticker price will depend on the respective car dealers’ marketing and sales strategy. One CBU model imported from Thailand into Malaysia is the Toyota Camry.

The Camry comparison



(SOURCE 2).

So how much does a Toyota Camry cost here and how does it compare to the rest of the region, and everywhere else, for that matter?

The 2.4 litre automatic version carries a sticker price of about RM260,000 in Singapore, which is higher compared to RM176,000 for a similar unit at local showrooms.

A check through the web revealed that the Camry is priced at about RM160,000 in Jakarta and just above RM150,000 in Thailand.

Meanwhile, a survey on households by CLSA published recently showed that the Camry in Malaysia has the second highest showroom price tag in Asia, behind Singapore, of course, but ahead of Hong Kong.

The car was priced between US$30,000 (RM102,000) and US$34,000 (RM115,000) each in China, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan and Britain.

The Camry is the cheapest in the United States and Australia, where the sticker price is less than half of the one quoted at local (UMW) dealerships.

Of course, it can be argued that the actual cost of owning a car varied from country to country after taking into account other things such as fuel, parking fees, regular maintenance charges, road tax and insurance.

Also the same car may actually be of a slightly different specification and styling to suit local needs and conditions.

The Camry model is targeted at executives in most markets. In Malaysia, the Camry competes with MPVs and SUVs at a price range of between RM150,00 and RM200,000.

In the entry-level segment, the cheapest new cars in Asia can be bought in China and India. Most entry-level cars in markets surveyed by CLSA are priced below RM35,000 per unit. In Singapore and Hong Kong, the cheapest new car available starts from RM60,000 each.

Despite the relatively high local new car price, MAA expects the annual total industry volume (TIV) to remain above half a million units over the next three years.

Taxing burden

Under the revised NAP, the Government aims to boost foreign direct investments (FDIs) in the sector, but is careful not to antagonise supporters of the national car makers.

“There are seven policy thrusts detailed in the NAP, and we believe it has managed to successfully balance continued protection for Proton, whilst encouraging FDIs,’’ RHB Research Institute said.

The improved tax and incentives given to automotive components would benefit existing local exporters, as well as attract new players to set up shop in the country.

The prohibition of imported used parts will also force consumers to switch to using products by original equipment manufacturer (OEMs) and replacement equipment makers (REMs).

Meanwhile, there is a plan to gradually phase out older cars from Malaysian roads and to implement more rigorous safety checks on vehicles. However, no deadlines were given.

The MIDF analysts expect the development of the end-of-life vehicle (ELV) policy to be a slow process, given the “sensitive” nature of the issue.

One thing for sure, OEM and REM parts will cost more compared to used items and Malaysians will have to dig deeper into their pockets to maintain their vehicles.

And the prohibitively high sticker price for new cars out there continue to put better quality cars out of the reach of most Malaysians.

Based on current duty and tax structure, the effective rate for the Toyota Camry 2.4 stood at 185% of the CBU price. Basically, more than half of the sticker price at the local dealerships is attributed to duties and taxes.

Exercise and import duties collected from car sales contributed billions to the Government’s coffers every year, with some estimates putting it in the range of between RM6bil and RM7bil annually.

However, it can be argued that the high prices limit the industry’s growth potential. And it is unfair to car buyers to continue shouldering the financial burden of ensuring that domestic car makes remain competitively priced."

END OF SOURCE.

SOURCES:
1) http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/10/31/business/5008187&sec=business
2) http://www.toyota.com.my/index.aspx?cat=models§=camry&subsect=gallery

That's all folks, thanks for having the time and patience to read this WONDERFULLY WRITTEN ARTICLE. Again, I REALLY REALLY WISH I CAN WRITE SUCH GOOD ARTICLE. But Not at the moment...

Coming to grips with APs. By IZWAN IDRIS

As promised, another well written article from Today's The Star Business. Article 2 of 3.

SOURCE: The Star, STARBIZWEEK

Saturday October 31, 2009
Coming to grips with APs
By IZWAN IDRIS


THE Approved Permit (AP) system to import cars into the country is often a contentious issue, one that even the Government seems to be having a hard time getting rid of.

Abolishing the well-entrenched system means taking on a group of wealthy bumiputra businessmen, whose strong ties to the political elite makes them formidable opponents.

On the other hand, the general perception is that the AP system is riddled with abuses. And the suspicion seems to be validated by facts.

Recent audits by the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) have come up with the conclusion that a number of AP recipients continue to “misuse and abuse” their allocations.

Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed confirmed that some AP holders sold their car import permits to third parties for quick profits. However, he did not elaborate on this. Meanwhile, a check with several re-conditioned car dealerships in Klang Valley yielded claims that forgery of AP documents still goes on.

According to Mustapa, some companies have had their AP allocations for 2009 slashed based on recent audit findings due to various reasons. He added that while no new AP application would be entertained, future allocations would take performance into consideration.

The ministry, however, gave no details on the number of APs issued so far this year and to whom they were given.

In fact, the last time a full list of AP recipients were made public was in 2005, following a huge debate over the issue. That year, names like the late Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin SM Amin of Naza Group, Datuk Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim of Westar Group and a few others made headlines due to the huge amount of APs given to them.

U-turn

The National Automotive Policy (NAP) was first introduced in 2006 and one of the key aims was to abolish the AP system by 2010. But on Wednesday, when announcing the review of the NAP, the Government pushed the deadline to 2015 for open APs, while the franchise AP system will continue to be in place for another decade.

The move to postpone the abolishment of the much maligned AP system was not totally unexpected.

On Oct 23, in presenting his first budget, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the Government would start imposing a RM10,000 charge for every open AP awarded from next year onwards.

This may be the AP holders’ only concession in exchange for the extension announced on Wednesday by Miti.

“Finally, closure on this issue, hopefully,’’ said Maybank Investment Research head Andrew Lee in his take on the AP system’s new deadline.

The system was introduced in the 1970s as part of a strategy to encourage bumiputra participation in the automotive industry.

In its current form, the so-called open APs are given to bumiputra entrepreneurs to import any vehicles from overseas, while car distributors are given franchise APs, which are restricted according to models and brands.

Miti’s data showed that the number of companies that are eligible for AP allocation stands at 98 today, compared to 254 in 1987.

According to Miti officials, the number of APs issued are limited to 10% of the total industry volume (TIV) recorded the previous year. It is a sort of import control for foreign vehicles sold in the country.

Assuming that the TIV this year will match the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) target of half a million units, about 50,000 APs can be issued next year. Of this amount, 60% will be allocated for open APs, while the rest as franchise APs.

The Government’s plan to sell the open APs – they were given free in the past – will contribute as much as RM300mil in revenue every year for the next five years.

A portion of the money will be channelled into a fund to help bumiputra car dealers wean off their dependence on APs.

“It is extremely lucrative and risk-free ... It is easy to see why (AP holders) will not give up the business,’’ stockbroker Kenanga Research said in a recent update issued after the NAP review. The firm estimated that open APs has a “street value” of about RM40,000 each.

Most of these AP holders purchase used cars in overseas markets – the current hot models are the Japanese MPVs – which are then sold here as re-conditioned cars at a good margin.

Post 2015, after the abolishment of open APs, will the quota for AP issuance remain at 10% of TIV? Will the open APs be converted into franchise APs in the period leading to 2020?

One sure thing is that demand for imported cars will remain. Given the capital accumulated over the years and the expertise and network built up, open AP holders can easily transform their business and become official distributors.

The Naza Group is the most well-known among the existing crop of AP holders to have taken this route. Westar is another example.

Today, control of the Naza group remains with Nasimuddin’s family. Over the years, the group has built up its empire to include property and construction, as well as in food and beverage. But the group’s bread-and-butter business lies firmly in its automotive roots.

Another of these so-called AP Kings, Weststar Group, had in June aborted a plan to acquire a British-based van maker LVD Group Ltd. Like Naza, Westar’s car showrooms are situated at prominent locations around the Klang Valley area.

While the two firms were often cited as proof that the AP system had actually work, what about the rest? But the real question to ask is whether an open tender system would be a better alternative?

The deadline for the dismantling of the AP system is a long way off. It was put off before, and it may possibly continue to haunt policymakers for a long time."

END OF SOURCE.

REFERENCES:
1) http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/10/31/business/5007860&sec=business


That's all folks, thanks for having the time and patience to read this interesting, neutral (politically-correct), well-written article...

200th post: National Automotive Policy – still stuck in neutral

This is "my" 200th post. I won't write anything on my own, instead, I'd like to share with all readers one of the most well written neutral article published in The Star Today. There's NOT 1, BUT 3 of them. Here's the 1st one/3...

SOURCE: The Star, The StarBizWeek, Saturday October 31, 2009


National Automotive Policy – still stuck in neutral
By JAGDEV SINGH SIDHU

"The National Automotive Policy has been revamped to now include several new measures. But are they enough to move Malaysia’s auto industy ahead of its regional rivals?"

"WHEN International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed admitted at a press conference on Wednesday that Malaysia was behind Thailand in the auto industry, there were no gasps of disbelief nor expressions of shock.

However, there must have been a reflection of regret that Malaysia has lost much ground after it had stormed into the lead in the regional auto business when it launched the national car project in the mid-1980s.

Now, we have been overtaken by a neighbouring country that has basically given its investors the very things that have been asked of the Malaysian government all this time.

The “loss” to Malaysia may amount to billions of dollars and employment opportunities many times the size in Malaysia that have migrated northwards. This time around, though, the Government intends to rectify the situation.

Although the broad objectives of the national auto policy (NAP) review do not deviate much from the original policy announced in 2006, the Government has spelt out its intention of growing the industry and developing its long-term competitiveness with a slight twist.

“Given the strengths and weaknesses of the Malaysian automotive industry, the Government’s move to focus on high value added segments makes sense,” says Kavan Mukhtyar, partner and head of automotive and transportation practice, Asia Pacific, Frost & Sullivan.

“By focusing on the luxury vehicle, electric vehicle/hybrid/precision engineering segments, the Government hopes to attract high value added new investments without competing directly with Thailand, and at the same time continuing support for the national car makers that focus mainly on the compact and sub-compact vehicle segments.

“The NAP review has also clearly signalled that Malaysia will go through the process of gradual rather than rapid liberalisation. The clear timelines attached with the liberalisation process give enough time for the domestic players across the value chain to become regionally competitive or to diversify into other businesses.”

One of the main differences between the 2009 auto policy and its predecessor is the granting of full-fledged manufacturing licences to foreign auto companies, in categories that do not compete with the national passenger car players.

“Considering the competition from Thailand, which has firmly established itself as the ‘Detroit of Asia’, the lifting of the freeze on manufacturing licences is a good move that puts Malaysia on the right path to attracting foreign direct investments by global carmakers wishing to expand their operations in the region,’’ said CIMB Research in a note.



Turning to Europe

The carte blanche given for new manufacturing operations of certain type of cars, such as those above the 1,800cc and RM150,000 in value, is a start, but the issue is, will manufacturers bite?

There is a school of thought that foreign car companies from Europe may pay a little more attention to the measured liberalised environment in Malaysia.

OSK Research, in its note on the NAP, points out that Thailand trumps Malaysia on incentives as it offers lower excise duties on vehicle prices and the exemption of import duty on plant machinery, in addition to having an already established supply chain.

The only problem is that to qualify, investors need to fork out a huge sum of money, the minimum being RM1bil.

“To date, Thailand has seven global OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and a few smaller ones that have set up plants with capacity totaling 1.625 million units as of 2008. These are mainly OEMs from Japan (Toyota, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Honda, Nissan) and US (Ford and General Motors).

“As none represents the European region, we may potentially see Malaysia trying to attract global OEMs from this region instead. This was hinted in the announcement, with respect to relaxation of the ruling on foreign manufacturers in the luxury passenger car segment,’’ said the research house.

Having competitive incentives is one thing, but the years of distrust and doubt that foreign players have built up against the direction of Malaysian auto policy, is working against the possibility of them committing huge sums of money in the future.

“Fiscal incentives and flexibility in ownership are just a few factors to attract FDI (foreign direct investment). Foreign investors will evaluate the entire ecosystem in Malaysia, including the availability of supporting supplier industries, access to regional markets, domestic demand, availability of human resources,’’ says Kavan of Frost & Sullivan.

“For example, to become a manufacturing hub for hybrids/electric vehicles, Malaysia also needs to have an attractive home demand for such products. Follow-on measures will be critical in creating an attractive ecosystem for foreign investors in the high value added segments.’’

He feels Malaysia’s biggest challenge is to strengthen the supplier base and help those suppliers develop competitiveness.

“In summary, the NAP review will definitely attract attention from the foreign investors but actual flow of investment will depend on how the entire automotive ecosystem responds to this opportunity,’’ Kavan says.


Note: Please double click to enlarge...

Time to change

The main thing the NAP has failed to do is to cut tariffs and consequently, the price of vehicles in the country. Maybe this is due to the already huge strain on the government budget, which has been running deficits for more than a decade now.

“Most of the consumer-centric measures are more towards improving safety standards and the environment friendliness of the vehicles. In the short term, imports of used CBU (completely built up) imports may be constrained as gazetted prices will be used for duty computation,’’ says Kavan.

“Consumers in the luxury segment may benefit in the medium term if foreign automakers make Malaysia their hub for vehicle manufacturing.”

The NAP also manages to liberalise the auto sector while still giving protection against the national car makers, a stance the Government has not wavered from, since starting the national car policy in the mid-1980s.

Whether that is an acceptable to the rest of the industry is moot, but there are quite a number of people who feel that is not the right way to go.

“(There is) still ample protection for national producers, including maintaining high excise and import duty structures, extension of freeze on assembly of rebuilt commercial vehicles such as trucks and buses. And, the liberalisation of manufacturing licences does not encroach into the mass market segment, which the national producers currently serve,’’ UOBKayHian points out in its note.

And there are people in the industry who feel the time has come for that to change.

“We have to look at the national auto industry in particular and not only focus on the national car company alone,’’ says DRB-HICOM Bhd group managing director Datuk Mohd Khamil Jamil.

“Having the technology and product for the domestic market alone is insufficient. We must also be accepted by the market overseas, at least regionally.’’

Khamil feels that a collaboration with a strategic partner is important in promoting and enhancing the capabilities and opportunities of Proton and the industry.

Malaysia is a country that has a long history of making cars. Notwithstanding the national makes, the employees of the industry are widely regarded as trainable and skilled. Just ask Mercedes Benz.

Its plant in Pekan, Pahang, started out making four units a day of just one model. Today, it assembles the S-class, E-class and C-class Mercs, and annual volumes has now reached 5,000 units. That makes it the largest CKD (completely knocked down) assembly outside Germany.


Picture above: NEW PROPOSED MOTOR VEHICLE TAX AND DUTIES STRUCTURE vs OLD...


“Consolidation and strategic alliances within the industry is important as many major manufacturers are moving towards multiple brands sharing the same engineering platform,” says Khamil.

“Asean is a high-growth region for the automotive business. There are threats of new markets like Vietnam and the Philippines. So we have to entrench our position.”

Changed, but still the same


The crux of the issue in Malaysia has been overcapacity, competitiveness and the lack of exports. Khamil feels that future growth will have to be export-led, and Malaysia needs to establish its position as an auto manufacturing hub.

“There must be a balance between the national car brand and enabling a sustainable auto industry,’’ he says.

While the auto parts manufacturers would welcome the NAP, the other winners from the entire review would surely have to be the national car makes,” he adds.

The greater tax exemption for exports of vehicles will benefit Proton and Perodua, but analysts feel those companies would need to produce cars that are competitive on a global scale in order to greatly gain from such incentives.

That will entail additional costs to engineer such cars, making it essential for Proton to form a strategic partnership with a larger foreign player. Proton and Volkswagen are engaged in talks to reach such an arrangement.

While the NAP review is a step in the right direction, many things need to be in place for the measures to materialise into something significantly tangible.

“On a whole, the measures are unlikely to have much immediate impact on the auto sector. Most of the measures announced – albeit being positive in navigating the industry towards greater liberalisation and competition – are not significant enough to alter the prevailing industry dynamics. In a way, the scenario, duties and ultimately, car prices, have not changed,’’ said Affin Investment Bank in a research report."

END OF SOURCE.

References:
1) http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/10/31/business/5013872&sec=business

That's all folks, thanks for having the time and patience to read this LONG Article...

Longtermer #1, Update 16: Ford Telstar Ghia i4 16v

Longtermer #1, Update 16: Ford Telstar Ghia i4 16v


In this blog entry, I am updating my Ford Telstar i4 Ghia. This is the 16th update.


What's up in the month of October?

Well, lots of things to highlight. Firstly, the FUEL CONSUMPTION(FC)'s REALLY back to normal. Averaged 6.8km/L. The worst was recorded in 7 October => 5.6km/L (BHP),

while the best was 7.9km/L joint honours between MOBIL 5000 RON95 and Shell RON95 FUELSAVE. Petronas RON95 is in the middle at 6.8km/L. Haven't try Caltax yet.

Other than that, remember the "leaking thingy" I mentioned last month, well, I was relieved that the gearbox and driveshaft still working despite leaking (hairline cracked). Let's hope it lasts till 1st week of November where I have the dough to fix it...

Also, This Telstar unleashed the Kiasu in me... I taught few Vios (3x - 2 of them are AH BENG Vios with Goalpost spoiler, bodykits and LARGE Exhaust), MyVi 1.3 and a Camry 2.4 (Previous Gen) some lesson. Dare to flash me (Camry)? Dare to overtook from Left and ZIGZAGGING (All Vios(es) and Myvis)? I SMOKED THEM... Happy to said that I managed to KEEP up with Mercedes S320L (Previous Gen) who tailgated and flashed me... I let him pass and followed his tail for good 10kms in NKVE before I turned into Subang Interchange and the S320L driver going straight to Klang.

Well, as usual there’s always the bad news. My front 2 tyres "BOTAK" already (see 2 pictures below, 1st one below shows the front left tyre while the 2nd one shows the front right tyre).



Above: Front right tyre...

As a result, I had two times aquaplaned. Once U-turn to Sprint Highway (before Shell 17/21), the car just went straight, I just lift off the accelerator and managed to regain steering control.

Second time, on the way back from Jalan Ipoh to Jalan Duta. Was travelling 100km/h on wet roads (drizzling that time), going down the flyover, suddenly saw traffic ahead. Hard braked, the Telstar swayed to the left and right (slightly), before I regained my steering control (again lifting off the accelerator). Thank God the Hyundai Matrix in third lane and another Telstar behind me noticed my car swaying left to right and slowed down... If not...

As I am typing this, the Telstar only done 148,048km. Previous month, it's 147,222km. It covers >1000km per month. WOW, fascinating... Why?
As I am using my dad's Civic FD2 2.0iVTEC more often... Especially when my dad's overseas.


Without further ado, here's the LOGBOOK:

Year of manufactured: December 1998 (registered January 1999)
Purchase price: RM42,000 (Aug 2005)
Current value: RM13,000 (As at August 2009)
Depreciation per year (averaged): RM10500
Mileage last month: 147,222km (26 September 2009)

Mileage now: 148,048km (29 October 2009)
Fuel consumption (so far):
BEST: 10km/l (25 August 2009)
WORST: 5.6km/l (October 7, 2009) => 100% City driving

THIS MONTH (October):
WORST: 5.6km/l (October 7, 100% City driving) (BHP)
AVERAGE: 6.8km/L (mixed)
BESI: 24 October 7.9km/l (Shell improved)

0-100km/h: 10.4 secs (27/9/2009). Previous run 10.8 secs (25 Aug 2009).

TODAY, As at 30th October,

Expenses (this month)

1) Fuel expenses (RM200)
2) Parking and tolls charges...


Before I go, a picture's worth 1000 words. Here's some pictures...


Check out the LARGE Boot... 1 month's grocery without needing to Split/fold the rear seatbacks...


My Telstar, as seen from my house compound...


Here's a parting shot above. LONELY... My Telstar is LONELY... As everyone went back home... Holy Matrimony wedding Over...

End of Update, thanks for having the patience to read it... See you next month on End-November.

AN ORIGINAL JEFF LIM PRODUCTION (My original work)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NEW TOY: CASIO PROTREK PRG-80T-7V

MY NEW TOY: A WATCH by the name of CASIO Protrek Triple Sensor PRG-80T-7V. I bought it on Thursday 22 October 2009 at Hang Thai Watch SS2. I paid RM1000 for it. It bundled with lightweight Titanium Strap instead of Rubber ones found in Newer and more sophisticated but bulkier PRG-120T which costs RM100 more.

It comes with 1 year worldwide warranty. Overall, I enjoyed my new toy. MORE FEATURES than my TISSOT(R) T-TOUCH(R) which was given by my dad for birthday back in 2003.

Without further ado, here's some information, photos and specifications of my new toy...



Name: CASIO Protrek Triple Sensor PRG-80T-7V

Serial Number: PRG-80T-7V
Manufacturer Name: CASIO





Other features:

- Electro-luminescent backlight

- Full auto EL light, afterglow

• Solar powered

• Low-temperature resistant (-10 °C/14 °F)

• Digital compass

Measures and displays direction as one of 16 points

Measuring range: 0 to 359 °

Measuring unit: 1 °

20 seconds continuous measurement

Graphic direction pointer

Bidirectional calibration and northerly calibration function


• Altimeter

Measuring range: -700 to 10,000 m (-2,300 to 32,800 ft.)

Measuring unit: 5 m (20 ft.)

Auto memory measurements (up to 40 records, each including altitude, month, date, time)

High Altitude / Low Altitude Memory

Cumulative Ascent / Descent Memory

Relative Altitude Display

Altitude Tendency Graph

Altitude Differential Graphic

Altitude alarm

*Changeover between meters (m) and feet (ft.)


• Barometer

Display range: 260 to 1,100 hPa (7.65 to 32.45 inHg)

Display unit: 1 hPa (0.05 inHg)

Atmospheric pressure tendency graph

Atmospheric pressure differential graphic

*Changeover between hPa and inHg


• Thermometer

Display range: -10 to 60 °C (14 to 140 °F)

Display unit: 0.1 °C (0.2 °F)

*Changeover between Celsius (°C) and Fahrenheit (°F)

• Duplex LC display

• World time

29 time zones (30 cities), city code display, daylight saving on/off


• 1/100-second stopwatch
Measuring capacity: 9:59'59.99'

Measuring modes: Elapsed time, split time, 1st-2nd place times


• Countdown timer
Measuring unit: 1 second

Countdown range: 60 minutes

Countdown start time setting range: 1 to 60 minutes (1-minute increments)

Others: Auto-repeat, progress beeper


• Daily alarms
5 independent daily alarms


• Hourly time signal

• Battery power indicator

• Power save function (automatically disables LCD if the watch is left in the dark for approximately 60 to 70 minutes, and sensor measurements if the watch is left in the dark for six or seven days)

• Auto-calendar (to year 2099)

• 12/24-hour format

• Regular timekeeping: Hour, minutes, seconds, pm, month, date, day

• Accuracy: ±15 seconds per month

• Approx. battery operating time: 6 months on Rechargeable Battery (Operating period with normal use without exposure to light after full charge)

21.5 months on Rechargeable Battery (Operating period when stored in total darkness with the Power Save function ON after full charge)

• Size of case/total weight
PRG-80 : 62.3 X 52.2 X 14.2 mm / 77 g

PRG-80L : 62.3 X 52.2 X 14.2 mm / 76 g

PRG-80T : 62.3 X 52.2 X 14.2 mm / 117 g

PRG-80YT : 62.3 X 52.2 X 14.2 mm / 117 g



References:

http://world.casio.com/asia/wat/protrek/prg_80/

SPECIFICATIONS SUMMARY:
CASIO Protrek Triple Sensor PRG-80T-7V
Series : Protrek One-Touch Operation
Band : Titanium Band
Dial : Water Resistant: 100 M ; Glass: Mineral Glass
Size : 62.3 X 52.2 X 14.2 mm / 117 g
Movement :Solar Quartz
Water Resistant : 100 M
Warranty : One year international manufacturer's warranty

That's all folks, thanks for having the time and patience to read this blog entry...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I'm back and I CUT ALREADY! (18SX)

SORRY FELLOW READERS/FOLLOWERS, After 2 week hiatus, I'm back. I've ditched the WORST Broadband service provider, S-L-O-W (hey, it's only averaged 2x faster than 56k DIAL-UP MODEM (mine is RM66 512kb package + RM26 fixed line = RM92++), always down - DSL light blinking (my house is in Section 17, Petaling Jaya where it's full of UTAR/UM Students = always congested). This is no other than Streamyx, by Telekom Malaysia.

The reason I didn't post for 2 weeks is because:
i) Preparation of MOTHER'S 60th birthday party bash at Grand Millenium Hotel on 18 October.
ii) Sister's birthday on 23rd October
iii) Lastly, my ADSL Modem struck by lightling back in 3rd October 2009. Hence, I relied on 56k TMNET dial-up modem till TODAY. Hey, can't update much with average transfer speed of 4.1kbps right?

Well, I'm proud to announce: TODAY I FINALLY CUT ALREADY!!!

This is actually the 2nd time I CUT IT...

"WARNING 18SX": 1st time is REAL ONE when I was 14 years old. My "sunroof skin" is too THICK and can't open fully, dad said it'll be pain when making love in future. So he brought me to a hospital... AND CUT IT... Gotta wear SARONG for 3 weeks. Aiya... Long story man. End of the day, after the "surgery" my brother's NOT ONLY CLEANER, BUT grew 1.2" longer and slightly thicker in 3 years (by 17 years old)...

Without further ado, here's one of the funny leaflet found around Klang Valley.




I addition, here's some goodies I found in youtube. They have both the Radio and TV Commercials version which I found it very hilarious. Hence, I decided to share to you readers/followers of my blog:

RADIO ADVERTISEMENTS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNSUKNck3kk
Cantonese

www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpwgPZICpHM
Malay

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0I_e2jkUTZ8
English

VIDEO ADVERTISEMENTS:
Cantonese 1: (Director's cut)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjM1OR0d-b4

Cantonese 2: (Director's cut)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDCCvDiKmEg

Malay version (Director's cut):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQiZhxvdxHU

That's all folks, thanks for having the time and patience to read this "lame" blog entry...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mazda past and present...

Mazda past and present

Source: http://cbt.com.my/090911/mazda-past-and-present
Submitted by yani on Fri, 11/09/2009 - 8:00pm

The Mazda 2 sedan was first unveiled at the 2007 Guangzhou Motor Show

The story of Mazda Motor Corporation is one outside of convention - keeping its unique identity, and like the city of Hiroshima where it is based, one of rebirth and positive human spirit.
To understand what makes Mazda tick, journalists from Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand were invited to attend a brand forum held at its headquarters in Hiroshima recently.
Also journalists were given a preview of the facelifted version of the Mazda 2 hatchback and sedan.

Mazda 2


Launched in 2007, the third generation Mazda 2 has been sold in over 70 countries worldwide.

"To date, the Mazda 2 has garnered a total of 51 awards from around the world, including the coveted World Car of the Year Title in 2008," says Ryoichi Kishimoto, programme manager of the Mazda 2.
The facelifted Mazda 2 hatchback and sedan will be assembled in the AutoAlliance Co Ltd plant in Rayong, Thailand for the South East Asian market.
The new Mazda 2 changes is mostly cosmetic, adopting the bolder, new 'smiley' family face which can be seen on the new Mazda 3 and facelifted RX-8 and MX-5.


The sedan variant would only be made available to the South East Asian market as the hatchback is already proving popular in existing markets such as Japan and Europe.
"The new corporate face of Mazda cars are designed to be better in pedestrian as well as occupant crash safety performance," says Akira Tamatani, chief designer of the Mazda 2.
"These recommendations were based on data from our crash test experts," he says.


There is no Euro NCAP rating for crash safety for the Mazda 2 as of yet.
"It took us 19 months to develop the sedan variant from the hatchback," says Kishimoto.
"We wanted the Mazda 2 to compete in the South East Asian region where it is a sedan driven market."

The two units unveiled were still pre-production models, with production of both the facelift hatchback and sedan starting in Thailand in October.
Nakamine says that the plant in Thailand has a production capacity of 120,000 trucks and 100,000 cars annually.
Besides assembling Mazda pick-up trucks and the Mazda 2, the plant has also been equipped to produce the Ford Fiesta.


"We plan to launch the sedan later this year," says Shahidin Sahamid, marketing manager of Bermaz Motor Sdn Bhd, sole importer and distributor of Mazda cars in Malaysia.

"However Mazda has expressed its desire for the sedan to be launched alongside with the facelifted hatchback when it comes out early next year. So tentatively we are looking at a first quarter of 2010 launch."
According to Shahidin, the pricing and specifications for the Mazda 2 are yet to be confirmed.
He hints that the Mazda 2 will be competitively priced for the B-segment, with the hatchback commanding a slightly higher premium.


History of Mazda

"It is important to know and understand Mazda, where it came from and what it is," says Yuji Nakamine, managing executive office and general manager of overseas sales division for Mazda Motor Corporation.
Founded by Jujiro Matsuda, a local of Hiroshima, he was the son of a fisherman but grew up to become an inventor and entrepreneur.

He took over a local manufacturer known as Toyo Cork Kogyo Co Ltd in 1921, before turning it into a manufacturer of motor vehicles 10 years later.
Then named Toyo Kogyo Co Ltd, the company went on to produce some of the most innovative and unique cars of its time.
Although every model sold bore the name Mazda, the Toyo Kogyo Company didn't adopt the name till 1984.

Mazda is considered to be the commercially successful manufacturer of the Wankel rotary engine, beginning with the Cosmo Sport of 1967 and the RX series of cars.


Picture above: Editor Yamin Vong (centre) in this picture of a media drive for the Mazda 626 in 1981.

However, Mazda's focus on developing its rotary engines became one of the main causes of Mazda's downfall during the advent of the 1973 oil crisis.
Even so, Mazda persisted and kept to its belief in the rotary engine.
In 1991, it became the first and only Japanese car manufacturer to win the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race, as well as the only victory in Le Mans history to be taken by a non-piston engine car.

In 1979, Mazda began a partnership with the American Ford Motor Company when Ford took a seven per cent financial stake in Mazda.

Affected by the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Mazda was acquired by Ford with a 33.9 per cent stake. However, the acquisition turned out beneficial for both parties as Mazda and Ford were able to save money on development costs through technology sharing.


The Hiroshima automobile manufacturer managed to emerge independent last year as Ford sold 20 per cent of its stake in Mazda, with the latter party buying off another 6.8 per cent shortly after.
"Mazda is a brand whose history is defined by examples of daring to be different, innovative and persistent. In fact, history has shown that Mazda succeeds when it dares to be different," says John Abel, general manager of Mazda's global brand management department.
"By looking back at its history we were able to draw its brand DNA from that and develop Mazda's 'Zoom-Zoom' theme."



Zoom-Zoom theme


Introduced in Malaysia in 1991,the MX-5 would go on to become one of the most successful sports cars in the world.

It was said that the Mazda MX-5 is the car that shouldn't have been made by a Japanese car maker. But it became one of the best selling sports cars in history.
The MX-5 is renowned for its purity in the joy of driving and it's the one car in the Mazda range which epitomises the 'Zoom-Zoom' theme.


Developed from Mazda's brand DNA of making stylish, insightful and spirited cars, the theme 'Zoom-Zoom' was adopted in 2001.
"Far from being a childish expression, Zoom-Zoom can be best described as the joy of motion first felt in one's childhood," says Abel.
"It connects on an emotional level and we recognise it as an essential human emotion. This theme is essentially the emotion of motion and it is an idea that Mazda values."
The brand transformation started in 2002 with the first generation of 'Zoom-Zoom' products, the Mazda 6.
Mazda claims that 12 out of the 14 top markets where the 'Zoom-Zoom' theme is used, it is recognised as the top three in market awareness.
Abel admits that Mazda will be an alternative to mainstream brands and acknowledges that its cars may not be for everybody.


"But I like to think that it is for a special few who really love driving, who are young at heart, passionate and progressive," he says.
Abel believes that while Mazda is aware of the demand for an environmental friendly solution, it isn't going to change its brand DNA.
"Mazda will still continue to bring that same spirit of innovation to take up the challenge of fuel efficient solutions and sustainable technologies," he says.
Technologies such as its unique engine start-stop technology known as 'iStop', Aqua-tech paint, the development of carbon neutral bioplastics and a fleet of hydrogen power rotary engine cars are some of the steps Mazda is taking towards green solutions.


"Mazda isn't avoiding the issue, we aim to increase the fuel efficiency of our cars by 30 per cent by 2015, with environmentally friendly vehicles throughout the range," says Nakamine. "We will be addressing our environmental strategy during the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show and will be focusing our research and development into hybrid technologies and fuel efficient technologies. We are currently working on new power trains and one which will be ready by 2011."

Mazda presence in Malaysia

The history of Mazda cars in Malaysia can be traced back to the rear-engine P600 Carol from 1963 (below)

The year 1967 heralded the introduction of the beautiful Bertone styled 1500 sedan (picture below) and the Mazda 1000 sedan.

Mazda was then the alternative brand but in 1972, Mazda was accepted as the Japanese mainstream brand. Years before the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic began fighting for its top spot in car sales, the Mazda 1000 emerged as the top seller that year for the category of cars below 1,000cc in Malaysia.

Perhaps Mazda's signature has always been the application of the Wankel Rotary engine, with the introduction of the R100 coupes powered by a 982cc twin-rotor rotary engine in 1969.


Other models which found its way into Malaysia were the Capella RE, otherwise known as the RX-2 in 1971 and RX-4 in 1973.

In 1973 Asia Motor Sdn Bhd, then importer and distributor of Mazda Cars in Malaysia, was contracted to supply 73 Mazda 1300 station wagons to the Ministry of Works and Telecommunications as service vehicles.
Also in 1973 the Mazda 808 sedan, successor to the popular 1000, was named Sunday Mail Car of the Year by an overwhelming margin.
Asia Motor sold its 10,000th Mazda 808 in 1977, just as its 808 Coupes charted a number of race victories the same year.

However, the Mazda franchise in Malaysia began its decline in the early years of the 1980s. Eventually, the Mazda franchise slipped from Asia Motor, which was beset by family dispute over company ownership, going to Cycle and Carriage Bintang Bhd in 1989.

Despite bringing in iconic models such as the 323, 626, Lantis, Mx-5 and Fighter pick-up truck, the Mazda brand slipped into near anonymity in Malaysia as it was overshadowed by the other Japanese brands.

After 18 years under Cycle and Carriage, the Mazda franchise was acquired by Bermaz Motor Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of the Berjaya Group.
Since then, Bermaz has been on a marketing blitz with the introducion of four models - the Mazda 5, 6, CX-9 and MX-5 that same year.
In 2009 Bermaz introduced another two, the second generation RX-8 and Mazda 3.


Like the Mazda 808 before it, the second generation Mazda 6 was picked as the New Straits Times-Maybank Car of the Year in 2008.
Meanwhile, Mazda's flagship, the CX-9, also picked up the Premium SUV of the Year award that very same year.

With the vacant position for a B-segment competitor to be introduced next year, Mazda looks set for a new renaissance in Malaysia under the stewardship of Bermaz Motors with the soon to come Mazda 2.

By Daniel Wong

End of Article...

My (Jeff Lim's) memories of Mazda Cars...

Well, my families, especially my dad and his brother are BIG SUPPORTERS of Mazda Cars. It all started in 1976, my "Tua Pek" owned a Mazda Capella 1600. My Grandfather also bought a Mazda Jumbo 1000 at the same year. Then in 1979, my dad bought his 1st NEW CAR, the 1979 white Mazda 626 1800 for only RM18,800 at that time. Three years later in 1982, he "downsized" to a white Mazda 323 1.5 Sedan (bought at RM17,000 OTR only) as he was expecting a Company car (which did not arrive until 1986 in the form of Volvo 240). Later, I found out that the Mazda 323 was "Japanese car of the Year 1981/82".

His passion for Mazda Cars continued in 1990, though it was NOT REALLY a Mazda rather a Sister of Mazda Familia GT, a BLACK Ford TX3 1.8i bought for RM56,000 OTR back then. He sold off in 1995.

It wasn't until 2003 my dad bought another used Mazda, this time for his daughter (my youngest sister). It's no other than 1992 white Mazda 323 Astina 1.6GLX. He bought it for RM21,000. The car had "Kuching No Plate" and very low mileage and well maintained. It was sold off in 2007 at a mere RM5k. In 2005, ie. 2 years later, my dad bought another "TWIN" of Mazda 626 for RM42,000, this time in the form of "Ford Telstar Premier (V6-body), 1999 model. I'm still enjoying driving the Telstar today.

The Telstar came with the Legendary Rear "E-type multi-link suspension" which were invented jointly by Ford and Mazda in 1981. It's still used in today's Mazda 3, Ford Focus, Mazda 6 and Ford Mondeo. Man, I loved to attack corners at speed up to 130km/h in the Ford Telstar. Great fun to drive. Only downside is the HIGH FUEL CONSUMPTION. 50L of petrol good for 320km only - 6.4km/L(averaged).

Till today, I'm still a BIG SUPPORTER of Ford and Mazda cars. My Next car gonna be Mazda 6. Oh! Besides Mazda, I'm also a Supporter of Honda Cars.


That's all folks, thanks for having the time and patience to read this LONG Article.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Malaysian Bestsellers in August 2009

Source: Motortrader Website (http://www.motortrader.com.my)

September 23, 2009 10:23 AM Author: "Uncle" Chips

Malaysian Bestsellers in August 2009


Total Industry Volumes in chart above include commercial vehicles such as panel vans, buses and lorries


Above chart excludes commercial vehicles such as panel vans, lorries and buses

NOTE:

1) Sales of all the popular Honda models were lower except for the Jazz


2) Nissan had a good month in August and even the Navara recorded higher sales than usual


3) The 1.6-litre manual transmission version of the Proton Satria Neo accounts for 57% of the model's sales


4) Ford sales were 28% higher in August.

5) Sales of the Naza Bestari and Mitsubishi Lancer were significantly higher in August.



That's all folks, thanks for having the time and patience to read this...