Stellantis, the new company formed following the merger of Groupe PSA and Fiat Chrysler Automobile (FCA), announced yesterday that they have obtained full ownership of Naza Automotive Manufacturing (NAM) and its manufacturing plant in Gurun, Kedah. The plant was previously operated on a joint venture basis between Groupe PSA and Naza.

The completed acquisition reinforces Stellantis’ commitment to the Southeast Asian market. The company plans to “invest and dramatically expand its footprint as part of a robust localisation strategy” in the region, according to a statement released yesterday.

“Stellantis is deeply committed to growing our presence in ASEAN, and taking full ownership and responsibility of the plant in Gurun, Kedah is a very important step towards strengthening our operations, production outputs and workforce in the region,” said Stellantis Senior VP of ASEAN and general distributors, Christophe Musy.

“We have an ambitious growth strategy that will enable us to build on the existing production outputs in Gurun, as well as extend the breadth of brands and models within the Stellantis portfolio built in ASEAN for ASEAN. This is a very exciting proposition. We are focused on our mission to achieve world-class manufacturing in Gurun, to build high-quality, Malaysian-produced vehicles for South East Asia.”

Related: Berjaya, Bermaz JV replaces Naza as sole distributor for Peugeot in Malaysia

Production at the Gurun plant has recently restarted, with the facelifted Peugeot 3008 and 5008 models already being exported and rolled-out across the region. The company says that the Peugeot 2008 will also follow suit this month, and just like its elder siblings, will also be exported across the ASEAN region.

The company previously already confirmed that it is planning to unveil the Peugeot 2008 here in Malaysia “in the near future”.

Related: Malaysian-made facelift Peugeot 3008 goes on sale in Thailand

Musy said that the company has seen increased demand for Peugeot in the region despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and production at the plant has now already returned to pre-pandemic levels. Volume is now being ramped up for the remainder of 2021 to re-establish supply to Malaysia, Thailand, and other ASEAN markets.

“We are working closely with our partners to increase plant capacity by almost 40% to meet demand, and this combined with our strong product plan and determination to achieve the highest standards in quality and safety has set us up for great success in Malaysia,” he added. The Gurun plant has an annual capacity of 70,000 units.