South Korea’s Kia to make Malaysia a regional hub for exports
02 Apr 2021
KUALA LUMPUR: Kia Motors Corporation plans to make Malaysia the regional manufacturing hub for the Kia vehicles in Asean and other potential markets.
Kia Asia Pacific president and chief executive officer Ted Lee said the South Korean carmaker had recognised the vast potential Malaysia would bring.
Kia had found it timely to raise the bar to progressively tap into Malaysia’s potential, Lee said at the signing of a joint venture agreement with Bermaz Auto Bhd (BAuto) to form Kia Malaysia Sdn Bhd here today.
Kia Malaysia would be more than 60 per cent-owned by Kia to drive the expansion of the marque’s production in Malaysia, said BAuto executive chairman Datuk Seri Ben Yeoh.
For a start, Kia Malaysia will undertake the assembly of completely knocked down (CKD) of three Kia vehicles.
The first two models – Kia Seltos and Kia Carnival – are expected to be produced locally within 12-18 months.
The third model will be determined at a later stage.
Kia is the second largest carmaker in South Korea, and together with parent Hyundai Motor Group, is the world’s fifth largest automotive manufacturer.
On the potential investment into the CKD operation, Yeoh said it would take about US$20 million to set up the production line of a product.
He also said that Kia Malaysia would help address the after sales issues faced by Kia owners under the previous distributor.
Kia has appointed BAuto’s subsidiary Dinamikjaya Motors Sdn Bhd as the new distributor of its vehicles in Malaysia.
As the new distributor, Dinamikjaya holds the right to distribute and sell Kia vehicles, CKD and completely built up (CBU), sale of genuine parts as well as in the provision of after-sales service and to build Kia’s brand reputation and awareness in Malaysia.
Elaborating on the new partnership, Lee said Kia had chosen BAuto after months of searching for the right partner.
“With BAuto’s proven capability in successfully building up automotive marques in Malaysia and the Philippines as well as their automotive manufacturing experience, we believe we have placed the Kia brand in good hands under the capable leadership of its.”
Tae said BAuto was a renowned listed automotive company in Malaysia with a strong management team and good track record.
Yeoh said Kia vehicles were well-known for their stylish looks, packed with smart features, frequent facelifts and new launches that keep prospective buyers excited over its products.
“The partnership will complement our existing automotive businesses and we look forward to a successful collaboration with Kia,” added Yeoh.