||This article contains wording that promotes the subject in a subjective manner without imparting real information. (October 2009)|
|Owner||JobStreet Corporation Berhad|
|Alexa rank||103,097 (December 2013[update])|
It originally started off in 1999 as a web trading platform for the buying and selling of cars (and it is still the main focus now in 2009 and after) before evolving to incorporate more sections in its website. Currently, AW consists of an emzine, blog, forum, buy/sell sections for cars and parts, and also direct links to contacts with advertising dealers.
Access to all content is free, but users are required to register as members before being able to post their own content on the website. As evident with its tagline, AW prides itself on being the “First Automotive Portal in Malaysia.”
It should not be confused, however, with Autoworld, which is a Malaysia-based Chinese language printed magazine, nor should it be confused with Autoworld.com, a US-based website of similar function.
Web development for AW started in 1998 by K.S. Wei and Richard Tan, owners of Lelong.com.my, a Malaysian auction website in the vein of eBay. The website was eventually launched on 9 Nov 1999 by Malaysia’s Minister of Energy, Water and Communications at the time, Amar Leo Moggie.
Initially, AW was wholly owned by Interbase Resources Sdn Bhd, the owners of the aforementioned Lelong.com.my. However, by launch time, Interbase has retained only 49% of the website’s ownership, with the now defunct Heritage Vest owning the remaining 51%.
In 2001, AW became a wholly owned subsidiary of Heritage Vest’s parent company Hong Leong Credit. Under Hong Leong’s ownership, AW soared to great readership heights, especially in late 2003, when a user posted leaked photos Proton Gen.2 months ahead of its launch. The incident was hugely controversial, but it directly led to a multiple-fold increase of traffic going into the website.
Since then, however, readership has been on a decline, in the wake of emergence of alternative automotive websites coupled with the fact that the website is left to auto-pilot, surviving mainly on user generated contents since 2004 (after half the team was slashed to keep cost low) while the Hong Leong management go on an active lookout for a buyer.
In 2008, Hong Leong finally offloaded AW to Jobstreet.com’s wholly owned subsidiary, Autoworld.com.my Sdn. Bhd., who assumed complete ownership of the website.
The primary function of Autoworld is as a buy & sell website for cars, parts and accessories. It maintains a database of new cars in the Malaysian market, from which owners can compare specifications, prices and other options. It also has a used car section that enables users to post classified advertisements of their cars for sale, to entice prospective buyers. There is also a parts & accessories section that functions on the same principle. To further aid users in their buying decisions, various tools, for calculating insurance premium, loan, road tax or other payments are available for free use.
One of the most well-known and visited sections of Autoworld is its forum. It divided into multiple sections, each to cater to different topics. The forum has always maintained an active following, having spawned numerous car clubs such as the Waja Performance Club (WPC), MyChevy Club, Wise Auto Club  and others. At one point, it was most famous for its Non-Motor Talk (NMT) section, which was eventually closed down due to excessive flaming amongst its members. Upon closure, many members who posted regularly at the NMT section moved to Malaysia's Home Renovation & Lifestyle Portal where a Non-Reno Talk section was opened. However, in 2009, the NMT section was reinitiated, but is open only to selected forum members. Notwithstanding efforts by Autoworld's administrators, most members who have migrated to Non-Reno Talk did not move back to Autoworld and NMT, and preferred to stay at Non-Reno Talk.
Autoworld is also a source for motoring news in Malaysia, with its Emzine section receiving content from former Malaysian rally driver YS Khong. A blog section was also setup, simply named as the Autoworld Blog. These 2 sections has recently been renamed to News & Blogs.
Malaysian auto journalist Chips Yap was hired as Autoworld.com.my’s editor in year 2000. He remained as editor until 2004, when he left to help start rival website Motor Trader, and was replaced by the aforementioned YS Khong, who still remains as the website’s editor today.
The abovementioned Autoworld Blog is manned by Shamsul Yunos posting under the alias SBY, and also features other content contributors, who are mainly loyal and active AW members.
One such member, simply known as TheGunner, joined the writing team in late 2008, and has been actively contributing content since then. Little is known about him other than he has been a member of the website since 2002, and was recently taken aboard the writing team.
Other content contributors include Chan Eu Jin, drexchan, tedtarg, jimijamison and jaime. Chan Eu Jin is said to be the former president and founder of V-Sixers Club – a reputable owners’ club for the Proton Perdana V6 formed in 2001, while drexchan is co-owner of a business specializing in performance parts and accessories.
Shortly prior to its launch in 2004, pictures of the Proton Gen.2, then known as the Wira Replacement Model (WRM) was leaked into the internet, first appearing in Autoworld.com.my’s photo section, uploaded by a registered user. The incident saw Proton lodge a police report to investigate the leak, resulting in then-editor Chips Yap and some Autoworld staff being summoned to record statements in the Ibu Pejabat Polis Kontinjen Kuala Lumpur . Autoworld cooperated and provided some relevant details to the Royal Malaysian Police that leads to the actual person posting the pictures. However, despite all that trouble, that incident saw a tremendous surge in Autoworld’s readership, to heights it has yet to recapture.
In November 2007, Autoworld was once again subject to investigation by authorities, this time by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) after members of its forum wrote sensitive comments regarding Proton and Islamic cars.
Early 2009, the website was defaced by a group of seasonal hackers who manage to find some loopholes in the website.
Despite having a controversial history, Autoworld’s forums actually played a pivotal role in the recovery of former editor Chips Yap’s Ford Escape, which was stolen from his apartment’s parking lot. Then still AW’s editor, he posted a description of his car on the forum section, which led to a forum member spotting it on the road.
Current editor YS Khong also had his car, a Proton Putra, stolen in his tenure as Autoworld’s editor. Like Yap’s however, his car too was recovered, but by the Royal Malaysian Police.
- "Autoworld.com.my Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
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