Malaysia is the only country in Southeast Asia that has two of its own large car brands. The other Asian markets common dominance of Japanese manufacturers is broken by the national manufacturers Proton and Perodua Malaysia. However, in recent years they have been struggling with decreasing sales figures . If the two local carmakers stopped receiving government support, for example by obliging taxi drivers to drive protons, or don’t look for new shareholders, as Daihatsu is for Perodua, their share can be expected to be even lower. Currently the market share of Perodua amounts to almost 40 percent of the Malaysian sales volume. The causes for the shrinking market share differ widely. For example, international manufacturers are just more competitive and can provide a more functioning, better equipped vehicle. And on the other hand, the growing middle-class results in higher individual claims for their cars means they do not want unreliable cars that are cheap, but rather rely on quality and comfort.
For many decades, Malaysia's automobile policy has been characterized by protectionist measures aimed at promoting the two local manufacturers Proton and Perodua until they are internationally competitive. Not entirely voluntary, the government is now focusing on an opening and liberalization of the automotive industry. Therefore, the import duties for automotive parts have been steadily reduced the recent years. Nowadays, the import duty for CKD-vehicle (completely knocked down) amounts to ten percent of the value if the country of origin is not an ASEAN member. For ASEAN members the import duties do not apply anymore.