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Welcome Back To Malaysia: An Open Letter To JEEP


Dear JEEP,

I know it’s been 10 long years since you’ve left us and I must admit, a lot has changed since you’ve been gone. Aside from the grounds of being courteous, I write this letter to both welcome you and update you on what’s been happening during your absence.

Landing back on our shores after your decade long hiatus must be a scary time for you, but under the supervision of DRB-Hicom, I am certain that they will show you the ropes and treat you with the utmost hospitality. Might I add, you’re looking well.

Okay, so enough with the pleasantries.

I’m not sure if you’ve been keeping an eye on us during your time away, but Malaysia isn’t quite like what it used to be when you were last with us. The once lush landscape in which you roamed have been stripped away and replaced with, well, how do I put this delicately?

Mayhem.

Yes, it was a simpler time back then but some may say we’re on the up and up, and this is the price to pay for progress (I guess you can be the judge of that). All I can do is guide you through your journey here and ease you in – hopefully avoiding some sort of major culture shock.

Here are 4 things you need to know about driving in Malaysia that will help you get by:

1.  The Jams

Let’s start with the obvious shall we? If you haven’t noticed already, we have way more cars on the road than we used to. I mean, WAY more. From your last visit, there were about 285,000 registered vehicles sharing your space whereas in 2013, that number had spiked to 655,000!

You may feel a little claustrophobic during peak hours and weekends, but this is only natural. To avoid such anxiety, make sure to drive smart and leave a day or two earlier than the estimated journey time. This should suffice but you still might be a tad late.

2.  Parking

With your ingenious and creative ambient ads that showcased your ability to park anywhere, we as Malaysian’s have taken it upon ourselves to follow in your footsteps and recreate this – giving life to your vision. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself blocked in by a cluster of selfish parkers.

It’s probably best if you put your off-road capabilities to good use and park up a tree when you can – where you will find little to none double parkers. You may have the size, durability and articulation, but we as Malaysians have ingenuity and a total lack of public concern (which in my personal view are on par).

3.  Our Drivers

Speaking of double parkers, road manners have diminished considerably into just a fond memory, where civility is nowhere to be found – neither on the roads nor in the cars. With the majority of drivers now adopting a new cutthroat attitude, pedestrians and right-of-way don’t mean what it used to (anything).

Luckily, you’ll be able to soar high above your neighbouring cars to avoid the onslaught of honking and abuse. But I’m sure you are used to such behaviour, spending so much time off-terrain, being in the jungle and all.

4.  Potholes & The Likes

I’m not even sure if this is worth mentioning, as you were the primary lightweight 4-wheel drive for the American army during WWII, but we got some major crater-like potholes that are World War worthy. With only some concerned citizens building towards a smoother ride, feel the rough and tumble of the wildest rainforests under your tyres as you weave in and out through the abundance of construction sites, detours, failed projects and derelict malls in our not-so-humble concrete jungle.

Taking into account all that I have highlighted, your solid axels, large tyres and versatile suspension systems are really going to have fun in this metropolitan playground – really putting that sturdy design to good use.

I really hope this letter finds you well by giving you a proper heads up and allowing you to manage your expectations during your stay here.

Wishing you all the best.

Welcome back to Malaysia.

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  • Vincent Chan

    You forgot sudden one-way streets (JEEP can easily go the other way, ‘coz it’s a JEEP) and road-blocks (again, JEEP can just go around roadblocks by climbing the hill behind it, or through some hidden back alley). Also, please warn JEEP about GST. It’s going to be expensive to stay in shape and up to task soon. Chiak!

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