Waiting period for a locally-assembled Mazda CX-5 currently stands at half a year in Malaysia, and Bermaz Motor has a lot to answer to that. However, this long-wait is set to drastically cut short as Mazda announced the completion of a Mazda-exclusive vehicle assembly facility in Kulim. Managed and assembled by Inokom Corporation Sdn Bhd, the Mazda CX-5 CKD has started rolling out from its dedicated trim and final assembly line.
Bermaz Motor was keen to show us all the new facility and invited local auto journalists to have a drive up north. The long journey was sweetened up by the fleet that was taking us there, the new Mazda3 2.0 SkyActiv sedan. We have driven and reviewed the Mazda3 2.0 SkyActiv, lovin’ it of course. The convoy departed from Glenmarie after a quick bite and briefing.
Watch our video coverage on the drive to Penang, then the visit to the new assembly facility the next day in Kulim.
The collaboration between Mazda and Inokom started back in year 2011, with the production of Mazda3. Speaking of which, we found that the second generation Mazda3 is still in production in Kulim, with about 100 units left to completion. The second CKD model started production in mid 2013, that’s the Mazda CX-5.
As local demands on Mazda vehicles grow, supply has to keep up. Econ101 right there. Mazda Malaysia invested a total of RM100 million to setup the trim and final assembly facility, which has a production capacity of 20,000 vehicles annually.
Officiating the plant were Mr. Masatoshi Maruyama, Executive Director and General Manager of Mazda, Hiroshima Plant and En. Rizal Jailan, Managing Director of Inokom Corporation Sdn Bhd.
“Aiming to make Malaysia a key production base in the ASEAN region, we established Mazda Malaysia, a joint sales and production company with Bermaz Motor, in September 2012”, said Mr. Maruyama. “Since then, we have been building up our business structure to establish a robust local production base”, he added.
“Together with Mazda Motor Company & Mazda Malaysia, we will continue to enhance our plant in Kulim as we believe there is ample growth in today’s automotive landscape” said En. Rizal Jailan. Inokom does contract assembly for many other automakers as well, such as Hyundai, BMW, MINI and Land Rover. Out of Inokom’s total output, 40% are Mazda vehicles.
However, the facility does not only serve local orders. Half of what produced here are sent to Thailand as well. Mazda Corporation is said to have also been supporting Malaysian market by supplying CBU models meant for other countries here, to meet delivery time.
Also present were Mr. Horoshi Inoue, Executive Officer in-charge of New Emerging Market Operation and Dato’ Sri Ben Yeoh, Managing Director of Bermaz Motor.
“Mazda is now very famous for making customers wait”, said Dato’ Sri Ben Yeoh jokingly during the press conference. He is however optimistic that with the new dedicated facility, it is able to achieve what Mazda is gearing towards: to meet local demands. You will be glad to know that, the current waiting period of 6 months can be cut short to about 6 weeks.
The next CKD model in line is the new Mazda3 SkyActiv, set to roll out from the Kulim plant by end of 2014.