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PETALING JAYA: Sime Darby Bhd is launching future-focused plans for its motor division, with the establishment of a mobility special task force to explore new trends and opportunities for growth in the automotive sector, particularly in shared mobility and in the electrification of the industry.

As part of this mobility strategy, the group has invested a total of RM42 million to date in mobility players.

Sime Darby acknowledges the evolution in the industry and is taking steps to future-proof its motor business.

“We have developed a mobility strategy as part of our efforts to revolutionise and transform our motors division to be ready for the future of automotive. Our thrust into mobility is our Engine Two to Sime Darby Motors’ Engine One, which we are continuing to fortify to its full potential,” Sime Darby group CEO Datuk Jeffri Salim Davidson said in a statement today.

Engine One refers to the group’s existing motor business which it is continuing to strengthen, while Engine Two relates to its future-focused strategies to capitalise on new mobility trends.

Sime Darby is well positioned to be the partner for new mobility players offering a turnkey solution for all mobility needs through a wide range of fleet management services and across the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem. Its fleet management solutions range from the provision of vehicles via various ownership schemes and maintenance, that includes mobile car servicing, to telematics which enables monitoring and predictive maintenance for fleets.

With EVs transforming the automotive landscape, Sime Darby aims to capitalise on its many strengths along the value chain to become the leading EV specialist in the region through the assembly, distribution and retail of EVs, as well as by playing an active role in the charging infrastructure value chain.

Sime Darby’s recent investment of RM42 million in car-sharing company Socar and online used car platform Carro demonstrates the group’s ambitions to expand in mobility. Its participation in Carro’s series C extension fund raising exercise is less than two months after investing in Socar’s expansion plans.

Since 2018, Sime Darby has been in partnership with Socar in new car and used car sales, fleet management and mobile after-sales service. Meanwhile, the group has been working with Carro since 2020 in the used-car ecosystem and vehicle leasing in Malaysia and Singapore.

Carro’s online used-car platform has helped to remove used-car industry pain points through technology and is complementary to Sime Darby’s motor business plans to grow its used-car business and leverage on technology as a tool for greater customer satisfaction.

“These investments are critical in growing our business beyond the traditional dealerships and in embracing alternative ownership models, as well as to capitalise on the strong growth potential in the car sharing industry in the region. Our investments in these startups are strategic and symbiotic, and they come after we have spent the last year or two in collaboration on several fronts to see how we can leverage on each other’s strengths,” Jeffri said.

Sime Darby group chief strategy officer Datuk Thomas Leong said: “As one of the leading automotive players in the Asia-Pacific region, we are taking on a more active and dynamic role in the transformation of the mobility industry. We remain on the lookout for more exciting investments and collaborative opportunities with other partners to help us ‘see ahead’ into the future.”

Sime Darby Motors is the automotive arm of Sime Darby, with operations across nine markets in the Asia-Pacific region. Sime Darby Motors is actively invested across the entire value chain of the automotive business; from assembly, importation, distribution and retail to after-sale services and rental.

Sime Darby Motors has operations across nine markets in the Asia-Pacific region. – Sime Darby Motors website pix

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