For those excited at the prospects of cheaper Kia models following the announcement of the new Kia Malaysia joint-venture, bad news – you’ll still have to wait a little longer.
At the Q&A session following today’s media event formalising the partnership between Bermaz Auto (BAuto) and Kia Motor Corporation, BAuto Executive Chairman Dato’ Sri Ben Yeoh said that the CKD operations will take roughly 12 to 18 months to set up, implying that the earliest we’ll get to see any new locally-assembled models would be from 2022 onwards.
For now, the company will be focusing on establishing a “quality ownership experience” for existing and new customers by addressing the after sales issues that many owners have experienced. “We have to address these issues before we try to sell cars,” he added.
While the company is working on setting up its new assembly line at Inokom’s plant in Kulim, Dinamikjaya Motors, the BAuto subsidiary that has been appointed distributorship for Kia vehicles in Malaysia, will begin selling off existing “hangover stock” inherited from the previous distributor.
As a recap, Bermaz Auto has just taken over stewardship of the Kia brand here in Malaysia thanks to a new strategic partnership with Kia Motor Corporation themselves, forming the new Kia Malaysia joint-venture company where Kia holds 66.6% of shares – the rest held by BAuto.
The Kia Malaysia company will carry out the local assembly operations here in Malaysia, where three CKD models including the Kia Seltos and Carnival have already been planned. The company also plans to export these cars to the neighbouring ASEAN region, making Malaysia the regional hub for Kia.
Meanwhile, distributorship for Kia vehicles have been appointed to Dinamikjaya Motors, a BAuto subsidiary.