Malaysia's largest integrated automotive Web channel launched

Kuala Lumpur, 12 November 1999 - was recently launched by Autoweb Sdn Bhd and officiated by YB Datuk Amar Leo Moggie, Minister of Energy, Communications and Multimedia at Sunway Lagoon Resort Hotel.

Kuala Lumpur, 12 November 1999 - was recently launched by Autoweb Sdn Bhd and officiated by YB Datuk Amar Leo Moggie, Minister of Energy, Communications and Multimedia at Sunway Lagoon Resort Hotel. Autoweb Sdn Bhd, the result of a joint venture between Interbase Holdings and Heritage Vest, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Leong Credit Berhad, targets to sign on 250 used car dealers and all auto franchises by the end of 2000. The company also expects one million page views within the next three months.

Through, Autoweb Sdn Bhd will become the first company in Malaysia to provide an array of information and services pertaining to the auto industry, as well as offer solutions to the problems and limitations that come with the conventional way of buying and selling a car.

"The website is a proud achievement for us as it offers auto buyers and sellers the most comprehensive information in an integrative manner via a single site," said James Lim, Director of Hong Leong Credit Berhad. is currently the country’s largest one-stop auto shopping channel that provides a unique platform and environment for car buyers and sellers throughout Malaysia. It intends, with the help of a powerful search engine, to offer consumers more choices at competitive rates in a shorter time. The site can also be accessed through the auto channel from MSN Microsoft Malaysia’s homepage.

Spokesman for Microsoft (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Jason Lim, said that the addition of to MSN Malaysia was in line with the company’s e-commerce strategy. "Our e-commerce strategy covers tools and technologies, content and business models that help businesses establish stronger relationships with customers and partners. Platforms, portals and partners are the three essential elements of the Microsoft e-commerce strategy."

"We are committed to working with Malaysian companies to build e-commerce platforms and solutions, as well as assisting them in their online marketing through MSN Malaysia," said Lim, who is the Director of Consumer and Commerce Group, Microsoft Malaysia.

In addition to providing car-trading services, also offers access to a full library of auto information and services such as online car loan application, car reviews, car galleries, and the latest technologies.

"A unique feature of the service is that it provides an easy search and compares services for new and used car buyers. Buyers are able to search for a car by its make, model, year, price range and location with just a few clicks of the mouse, and the system also allows car buyers to customize their choice of car according to budget, location and type of car. For more serious buyers, one can interact directly via e-mail or telephone with the seller if they decide to purchase a car," explained Richard Tan, Director of Autoweb Sdn Bhd.

With the government’s strong support for the development of e-commerce, Autoweb Sdn Bhd aims to be a key player in engraining e-commerce among the public and the Internet-savvy in Malaysia. According to Tan, there are currently more than 500,000 subscribers with Jaring and TMNet alone. "These figures are encouraging as it means a potential 500,000 web surfers will one day visit the website. Moreover, this number is expected to increase to 3.4 million by year 2005 - great signs of the vast opportunities that lay ahead for Internet growth and in Malaysia."

Tan added that Autoweb Sdn Bhd was confident the concept of would be a success despite the country’s economic downturn in 1998, as the sentiment was that car sales would ultimately increase with the economic recovery. "With the new national budget in place, we are confident that the website’s success will become a true reality."

"At Autoweb Sdn Bhd, we are truly convinced that the future of the auto industry has just begun. In the new millennium, buying and selling a car will not be what it was before. It will be a much more convenient and fun, value for money, alternative to car shopping. It is true to say that we are proud to be a pioneer of this new service," concluded Tan.