BMW Group is making Malaysia the export hub of the 3 Series, 5 Series, and 7 Series models to Vietnam and the Philippines in 2018.
At the introduction of the new locally-assembled X1 and X4 variants, Mr Han Sang Yun, BMW Group Malaysia Managing Director and CEO said, “Malaysia continues to be a strategic hub for the BMW Group in South East Asia and we at BMW Group Malaysia are pleased to be able to raise our competency here to assemble and export these premium vehicles to emerging markets in the region to grow our capabilities in the ASEAN region.”
Detailed specifics of the export plans have yet to be revealed, but we do know that BMW does not currently have plans to move out of its current facility housed within the premises of Sime Darby’s Inokom plant in Kulim. Additionally, it is confirmed that BMW will not be expanding the scope of its local assembly operations to include locally painting of vehicle body shells – meaning the vehicle’s monocoque arrive in a welded and painted state.
Interestingly, both target markets in question are left-hand drive countries, although BMW officials confirm that the existing facilities are able to cope with the mechanical variations involved.
Based on the timeline of 2018 provided, it is all but certain that BMW’s plans are focused on the next generation 3 and 5 Series, and perhaps the current 7 Series in its facelifted form.