ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Chevrolet models made in Malaysia
In March, Naza signed a distributorship agreement with GM. All the models it distributes -- Optra, Aveo, Captiva and Cruze -- are currently imported from Thailand.
Faisal Nasimuddin, the Naza group's chief executive officer. said Naza hopes to boost Chevrolet sales to between 35,000 and 40,000 cars by 2015 before establishing an assembly facility in Malaysia, Southeast Asia's biggest passenger car market.
"GM sees Malaysia as a very strategic market," he said, adding that the US auto player wants to turn Malaysia "into a regional hub" for export of certain models.
Faisal also said Malaysia should provide tax incentives to woo foreign auto players in a bid to become a Southeast Asian hub, a status already claimed by Thailand.
He said the Malaysian passenger car market was becoming saturated, and that for growth prospects, industry players had to look towards the region.
Ahmad Maghfur Usman, an analyst with OSK Research, said it would cost about 20 million ringgit (US$6.3m) to set up an assembly line for a single model.
"I think the target of 40,000 units is a bit ambitious. Malaysian buyers still prefer Japanese makes due to their fuel efficiency, quality and better resale value,"
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