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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        1  June 2011

BMW expands Malaysia production

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BMW Group Malaysia will be ramping up production at its local assembly facilities in Kulim, Kedah, by 50 percent for 2011, in line with its increased investment and the creation of more skilled jobs within the Malaysian automotive industry.

“The local assembly of BMW's top selling models has always been a core business strategy by the BMW Group ever since we first entered the Malaysian market in 2003.

Building on its record performance of selling over 4,500 vehicles in 2010, the car company said it would be increasing production capacity of popular locally assembled units such as the BMW 3 Series and 5 Series sedans, as well as the BMW X1 Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV).

“Since beginning operations in 2008, BMW's local assembly plant in Kulim, Kedah has maintained a workforce of approximately 400 skilled employees and assembled more than 6,500 locally assembled BMW vehicles off its production lines,” it said in a statement today.

BMW Group Malaysia managing director Geoffrey Briscoe said in the same statement that the company will be allocating additional investment on top of its existing investments to upscale operations at the Kulim plant, which will also create more than 80 new highly-skilled jobs to cope with the demand for BMW's premium range of automobiles.

The production increase will be in part due to the introduction of the locally assembled variant of the new BMW 528i M Sport and the BMW 520d, which underlines the increased popularity and acceptance of BMW's diesel-powered premium vehicle models.

“For the month of April 2011, the 80 BMW Advanced Diesel models sold by BMW Group Malaysia has already accounted for approximately 20 percent of the total volume of 403 BMW vehicles sold that month. “The percentage of diesel-powered BMW vehicles is set to increase in tandem with the support of the Malaysian Government for diesel, in particular the imminent implementation of the Malaysian biodiesel programme from June 2011,” said Briscoe.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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