The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) recently announced that it will hold the KL International Motorshow (KLIMS) in 2013. The dates have yet to be confirmed but the event, last held at the end of 2010, usually coincides with the school holidays.
The association (known as the Malaysian Motor Traders Association earlier) has organized motorshows over the past 32 years. The first one, in 1980, was held at Cangkat Pavilion, a small site between Stadium Negara and the Chin Woo building. It was held there again in 1984 before the venue moved to the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) as more floor space was needed and there were also more participants.
The PWTC venue, which occupies two floors and another small hall on the other side of the river, continues to be used up till today. Though the MAA would like to find a new venue with more space and a less restrictive layout (too many columns), there has yet to be another convention centre which has sufficient floor space.

The KL Convention Centre near KLCC is not big enough and the Putrajaya Convention Centre would be too far out of KL. In 1998, a motorshow was organized in Langkawi and it was hoped that the event could be run regularly. However, it was obvious that the location was much too far from the Klang Valley where the majority of car-buyers live and attendance would not justify the high cost of setting up a display booth. A motorshow is not the same as an airshow which is more an industry thing and customers are people who are buying on behalf of governments and corporations and not themselves!
Unlike the motorshows in Thailand and Indonesia, KLIMS has always been more of a ‘branding’ event rather than to generate sales.The motorshows in the neighbouring countries are often where peak sales in the year occur as there are special offers and the focus is on selling. For this reason, KLIMS has often seen the display of concept cars, like the major motorshows in Europe and America.
We’ve put together a gallery of pictures of the past four motorshows, starting with the one in 2000 when digital cameras were cheap enough to acquire so there are digital images of events from that period.

KLIMS 2000
At KLIMS 2000, Malaysians got their first look at the Proton CAMPRO engine (left) which was still under development. (Middle) Auto Dunia brought in the first unit of the Volkswagen New Beetle that year
while Perodua teased the public with the ‘X-690’ (right) which was the prototype of the Kelisa

TATA tried to introduce its Indica (left) and brought in a few units to gauge public response but in the end,
the model never got launched. Yes, that’s a Proton Cabriolet on the right – it was a prototype based on the
Satria that was made by Proton R&D in the late 1990s and appeared in a few motorshows.
Wonder where that one and only unit is these days?

KLIMS 2003

The 2003 motorshow reflected the upbeat state of the Malaysian car market – after the massive downturn in the
late 1990s due to the financial crisis, the industry was zooming forward again and promotional budgets
got bigger. Some of the big companies even had special performances to draw crowds to their stands.

UMW Toyota Motor could always be counted on to bring in a concept car or two (left) and while Perodua
didn’t have concept cars to show in 2003, it did display some unique models like the Kancil on the righ

KLIMS 2006
The 2006 motorshow was an exciting one and though many didn’t realise it, the small hatchback
displayed by Perodua had the design of the new model called the Viva which would be launched in 2007

Motorshows are where fans of car makes can find exclusive merchandise

From the 2000 event onwards, Motor Trader was also present at KLIMS and in 2006, we even
put a Porsche on display at our stand and had games for the public to win prizes

Chinese makes like Geely (left) made their first appearance at KLIMS in 2006. With so many
attention-getting sportscars on display, TC Euro Cars decided to try something ‘different’ for its
Renault Kangoo and had a ‘groovy theme for its booth (middle)! Proton took a very big space which
it shared with Lotus and many wondered if the concept model (right) was going to become a reality eventually.

Honda’s humanoid robot, ASIMO, was a big draw and showed off his ever-increasing skills. By 2006,
he could even walk up stairs. Cameraphones were more affordable and many people began using
them to snap pictures. Needless to say, the car companies made sure there were lots of nice models…

KLIMS 2010

The 2010 motorshow coincided with the 50th anniversary of the MAA. 


While the big players usually dominated the event, companies like Mutiara Motors
also grabbed 
attention by displaying JDM models like the Nissan GTR (right)

The performances got louder and more expressive in 2010 as companies tried to outdo each other.
2010 was also the 25th anniversary of Proton and the national carmaker put on a very big show.
Its shopping bags were a big hit and thousands were given away (right).

The Malaysian public also got a glimpse of the future of Proton with many concept models displayed.
The Tuah concept car (middle) was the basis of the new P3-21A sedan which will be launched
this month (right). As with virtually all launches, Proton’s MD did the media presentation personally (left).
Perodua again teased the public by showing the outline of the second generation Myvi. The yellow
model was described as a ‘study’ but as can be seen, it was really the design of the new ‘Lagi Best’ Myvi.
So pay close attention to prototypes in future shows as they could be new models!

The 2010 motorshow took place after it was announced that hybrid models would have full exemption
on import duty and excise tax, and Honda wasted no time launching the Insight which was
affordably priced that the company expected to sell 4,000 units in 2011 (it actually sold a bit more than that)

KLIMS 2010 will also be remembered for the display of the Transformers characters in the hall as the
event coincided with the movie. A yellow ‘Bumblebee’ Chevrolet Camaro was also displayed elsewhere

Motor Trader was again a participant in the motorshow and seeing how so many people had cameraphones
and digital cameras were also affordable, we ran a photo contest. At right is the winning entry.

KLIMS 2013?

We have a gallery of the Babes at the 2012 Bangkok International Motor Show too!
Click here or on the image to go to the gallery!
For our Bangkok Motor Show pictorial report,
click here

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