Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) Sdn Bhd recently celebrated the 10th year anniversary of their production plant in Pekan, and they have a lot to celebrate considering the successes they’ve enjoyed in the Malaysian automotive industry thus far. MBM’s sales have gained traction following their current line of offerings, primarily the A-Class, C-Class, E-Class, S-Class Hybrid and the AMG models.
MBM invited local automotive media to have a drive to Pekan in their current lineup which includes the S400L Hybrid, E400 Hybrid, CLA, A45 and the new CLA45.
MBM’s Pekan production plant isn’t your average assembly plant, where cars are partially built up and have their doors assembled into place. Instead, it is one of only six CKD production plants in the world, and the plant is solely built to produce vehicles (from the bone up) to meet the ever increasing demand of its well-to-do customers in Malaysia.
The plant’s most recent development is the new production line that is dedicated to produce their flagship model, the RM588k S400L Hybrid. About RM18 million and 12 months were spent to bring the line to life, and have thus far produced 264 units of the S-Class. The plant is currently working to increase the supply rate to meet the overwhelming response it garnered.
The S400L Hybrid is the brand’s first model to be given the Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) incentive, which explains its appealing price tag. According to their officials, the waiting list for the S400L Hybrid goes well beyond a year long, with model make for the year 2015 all sold out till the year’s end.
When asked about MBM’s sterling sales performance of the S-Class so far, President and CEO of MBM, Mr Roland Folger said, “The success of the S400L Hybrid is a prime example of the potential this country offers and this certainly helps us serve our customers better. We strive to continue our close relationship with the government and authorities to enhance the automotive sector.”
Many assume that the flagship model is a SKD (Semi Knocked-Down) model, it is however a Complete Knocked-Down unit, completely fitted by pieces here. We have been briefed through on the items that are sourced locally, and the localization content in a S400L Hybrid in Pekan plant may surprise you. The leather seats, the entire door module, wire harnesses, radiators and tires are “Buatan Malaysia“.
The plant consists of 77 MBM staffs, and slightly over 1,000 local workers run the entire production processes. MBM’s Vice President of the Production Plant, Mr Angel Legarda, said the new line that will produce the new W205 C-Class will create more job opportunities for the locals, as well as surrounding establishments.
To date, the 10-year-old Pekan plant has produced over 34,000 passenger cars and over 18,700 commercial vehicles, including both Mercedes-Benz and Mitsubishi FUSO brands. As of yet, MBM only locally produces the C-Class, E-Class and S-Class models, while recording a steady increase of production output.