During a Q-and-A session at a civil servants gathering last week, International Trade and Industry minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali revealed that a “luxury carmaker” will soon be setting up shop to produce its vehicle in Malaysia, saying that “they have already agreed”.
According to Malay Mail, although Azmin Ali was not able to reveal the brand itself just yet, he did say that it will be the “first plant [for the carmaker] outside that particular country”, and the company focuses on “precision engineering” to produce “among the most expensive [cars] in the world.”
The comment tracks well with a report by The Edge earlier last month, which suggested that Porsche might be setting up an assembly plant at Kulim, Kedah. First plant out of Germany? Check. Precision engineering and expensive cars? Check and check.
The report said that Porsche will partner with Inokom, a subsidiary of Sime Darby, to set up the new Kulim assembly plant. And as many of you would know, Sime Darby, under the Sime Darby Auto Performance brand, has been Porsche’s sole distributor in Malaysia since 2010 – everything so far makes a whole lot of sense.
It is understood that the new Kulim assembly plant will cater towards Porsche’s SUV models, namely the Macan and Cayenne. These cars would also be exported to other neighbouring countries, making Malaysia its ASEAN hub.
Based on the minister’s comments, it really does seem like CKD Porsches might soon(-ish) become a reality. Aside from us Malaysians being able to enjoy “cheaper” Porsches, the move will also help give our automotive production sector a much-needed boost, at a time when major carmakers are mostly opting for Thailand and Indonesia.
“So we are moving towards that direction. Of course, they will ask us whether we have that capacity. So we need to develop our human capital, we need to develop talent, there needs to be skills. Otherwise we will lose to our neighbours,” he added.