The KL International Motor Show  (KLIMS13) is on again this week and once again, visitors can get a glimpse of the latest models as well as what could be coming in future, along with a glimpse at some of the icons of the past. Due to the size of the Malaysian market, having an event annually has never been possible and since the first one in 1977, it has occurred every few years.

The first two motorshows were held at a small exhibition area in Changkat Pavilion, adjacent to Stadium Negara, in Kuala Lumpur and while they were not organised by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA but then known as the Malaysian Motor Traders Association), the association provided support for the events since most of the car companies were its members anyway.

KLIMS moved to the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) in 1990 where it has remained up till today. With the change in venue as well as the rapidly growing market, the MAA became involved directly as organizer and took the event to the next level. Unlike the bigger 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.

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 in the Klang Valley 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!

It’s a pity that a number of brands are missing from this year’s event but those that are present have put on a fine display of their models, with some using the opportunity to launch brand new models at the motorshow. For example, Honda Malaysia surprised everyone by unveiling the latest generation of the Odyssey MPV which has recently gone on sale in Japan. Nasim also launched the new Peugeot 2008 while Hyundai Sime Darby Motors launched the i30 and i40.

Edaran Tan Chong Motor also used the motorshow to launch the Nissan LEAF all-electric car for sale, along with a NISMO version of the Almera. The NISMO Almera has been specially conceived by Nissan’s high-performance division and its unveiling in Malaysia is actually a global debut since it has not been shown anywhere else yet.

Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury division, is making its first appearance at KLIMS and introduced the new Q50 sedan which is only just appearing in world markets. Also on display is a racing car like the one Sebastian Vettel is driving this year which has helped him win the F1 World Championship title for a fourth consecutive year and if you’re interested, you can also get a close-up look at his helmet, gloves and shoes which are on display!

Ford Malaysia is not launching any new models but it is providing visitors with a preview of a few models which will be coming in 2014 like the EcoSport compact SUV, Fiesta EcoBoost and Fiesta ST. The Ford booth, which is among the larger ones at the motorshow, also has the Shelby Mustang, an icon in the American auto industry, as well as the Fusion Hybrid. Unfortunately, both are not intended for sale in Malaysia anytime soon.

The Volkswagen booth has the largest floor area and is showing off its entire range. This is the first time that the carmaker itself is participating in KLIMS although Auto Dunia (its former distributor) did display models in past events during the 1990s. The booth is impressive with its clean white environment that is typical of Volkswagen stands at the big motorshows in China and Europe.

KLIMS13 will be on until Sunday November 24 and on Saturdays and Sundays, opening times are between 10 am and 10 pm, while on weekdays, the doors open at 11 am. If you are driving there, it’s best to park at the carpark at the bus station across the road from PWTC.

Over the coming week, we’ll be providing a closer look at some of the booths and other aspects of the motorshow for those who can’t visit it so check back for new reports. For now, here’s an overview of the displays at the motorshow.

Ford has on display its latest models plus some which are to go on sale, like the EcoSport and Fiesta EcoBoost (below).

The Peugeot 2008 was launched at the motorshow and bookings are being taken for the urban SUV which will be priced at less than RM120,000
Volkswagen has the largest floor area at the motorshow and its full range of models can be viewed. Highlights are the Beetle Fender edition (below left) and a cut-away Golf which reveals what's under the 'skin' (right)

Edaran Tan Chong Motor used KLIMS13 to launch the best-selling electric car in the world - the Nissan LEAF which is priced at RM168,000. Also making its debut - and a global one too - is the Almera with a NISMO package (right)
Infiniti, Nissan's luxury division, appears for the first time at KLIMS and Malaysians get to see the all-new Q50 which only began sales in the USA during the third quarter of 2013.
Could this Buddz concept be a sneak preview of the Perodua sedan? The company isn't saying but its President says that we should give it more than passing interest...
The all-new Honda Odyssey was launched in Japan just two weeks ago and it already appears at KLIMS13! It's the first Odyssey to have two sliding side doors and comes with a 2.4-litre engine. On the right is the EV-STER concept, an electrically-powered roadster with rear-wheel drive. Honda is believed to be seriously considering producing it.
Toyota's NS4 and Fun Vii concepts give a glimpse of the company's future products. While the NS4 could well be the basis for the next Prius, the Fun Vii is a 'fully connected' car which can also display images on its bodywork
Lexus is displaying its supercar LFA at the motorshow as well as the US$10,000 Lexus - the F Sport Roadbike
The Numero 9 concept reflects Citroen's brand and design philosophy and has an engine driving the front wheels with electric motors powering the rear wheels to give all-wheel drive
Over at Hyundai's stand, the star is the i-Oniq concept (left) which you can't buy but there's also the new i40 sedan (right) that is now available for purchase at RM160,000 (RM179,000 for the Touring Wagon)
The ‘BRZ Prologue’ (left) shows the technical highlights of Subaru BRZ | Isuzu Malaysia unveiled a sporty-looking D-MAX X-Series as a limited edition (right)
One whole floor of the motorshow has American musclecars like the Corvette (left). Visitors to Hall 1 will also get a first look at this new double cab mini truck (right) from HSZNA Motors
4-time world champion Sebastian Vettel's racing shoes are on display at the Infiniti stand and some stands sell merchandise as well
No show would be complete without The Babes and there are plenty at KLIMS13. Be sure to bring a large-capacity card for your camera!
Before leaving, be sure to submit the entry form with your tickets and you could win a Toyota Prius or Honda CR-Z

Click here for other KLIMS13 news or visit www.klims.com.my for updates and information

[Chips Yap]

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