RV tourism ushers a new lifestyle in the region

KUALA LUMPUR, 29 NOVEMBER 2022: The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) achieved another milestone in spearheading the development of recreational vehicle (RV) industry in Malaysia with the award of the first Vehicle Type Approval (VTA) to Knaus Tabbert AG, Europe’s leading manufacturer for RVs.

The VTA certificate was handed over by Road Transport Department (JPJ) Director General YBhg. Dato’ Zailani Haji Hashim to Knaus Tabbert AG Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Wolfgang Speck in a ceremony witnessed by Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Deputy Secretary General I, YBhg. Dato’ Sri Norazman bin Ayob and ECERDC Chief Executive Officer YBhg. Dato’ Baidzawi Che Mat.

The VTA approval for road worthiness will allow for the authorised sales and distribution channel of new RVs under its own category, thus easing its financing and insuring requirements.

JPJ Director General, YBhg. Dato’ Zailani Haji Hashim said as the authority in charge of establishing and regulating the registration and licensing of motor vehicles, JPJ is committed to assist ECERDC and automotive investors in the governance and administration of the RV industry in a systematic, reliable and innovative manner. “This is to ensure the industry’s safety and mitigate the risk of accidents while at the same time, propel a high-quality industry with safety in mind,” he said.

ECERDC has been spearheading the RV industry development since 2021 and had facilitated the visit by delegation from Caravaning Verband e.V. (CIVD), which represents German RV players when they visited the East Coast Economic Region in February to explore investment and business opportunities in the RV Industry as well as to identify potential locations to develop RV parks in the ECER. In June, ECERDC in a return visit and investment mission, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CIVD in Frankfurt to formalise the collaboration. In the second investment mission in August, ECERDC also signed a Memorandum of Collaboration with Knaus Campingparks to develop RV camping parks and introduce a new lifestyle experience to Malaysians.

“The VTA approval for RV to Knaus Tabbert AG marks a new milestone for ECERDC as it will attract more investments into this sector and spur the RV industry in Malaysia. This will eventually bring in the supply chain for the production of RV parts in the future and create employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for the locals especially in the ECER region,” said YBhg. Dato’ Baidzawi Che Mat, the Chief Executive Officer of ECERDC.

CIVD Managing Director, Daniel Onggowinarso commented that the VTA approval will aid both parties’ initiatives to establish ECER as the RV hub and put Malaysia on the map for RV enthusiasts.

“This is part of our collaboration initiative with ECERDC in bringing German RV players to Malaysia to grow the RV industry and expand opportunities in the Asia Pacific market,” he said.

The CEO of Knaus Tabbert AG, Mr. Wolfgang Speck expressed his optimism on the growth potential of the RV industry in Malaysia and looks forward to working together with ECERDC to set up RV manufacturing facility in the ECER region.

“The demand for recreational vehicle (RV) industry has shown a significant increase globally and this market is projected to grow into a potential multibillion-dollar industry in Malaysia in the next five to ten years. Malaysia, which has FTAs with China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand has a huge potential to become a caravan hub for the Asia Pacific region. The RV industry is still in its infancy in Malaysia compared to Australia, where the industry is Estimated to worth USD11 billion dollars for a country with 26 million people. We also look forward to work with Malaysian companies for dealership opportunities and opening more caravan parks in the country to encourage Malaysians to embrace this new lifestyle and take full advantage of the country’s beautiful landscape,” said Mr. Wolfgang at the event.

The emerging RV lifestyle as mobile hotels generally used for short-term outdoor camping and tourism activities for travel enthusiasts is currently trending. RVs are largely self-sufficient as they are equipped with sleeping, cooking and sanitary facilities which allow for family-bonding, offering a unique travel experience amidst nature.

MITI Deputy Secretary General I, YBhg. Dato’ Sri Norazman Ayob said the government is committed in promoting foreign direct investments (FDIs) to Malaysia especially from high value companies and this effort is jointly being carried out with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and ECERDC.

“ECERDC’s initiatives in attracting FDI from a German RV manufacturer is in line with MITI’s mission to attract quality investment and further innovate industrial activities to produce high value-added goods and services, and in so doing, elevate Malaysia’s competitiveness among the top global trading nations,” he said.