Mazda Malaysia, the manufacturing joint venture between Bermaz Motor and Mazda Motor Corporation is rumoured to be working on a plan to export Malaysian-assembled CX-3 to the Philippines.
This follows our earlier report that Mazda Malaysia will be assembling the CX-3 locally before the year ends.
Sources familiar with the matter told Carlist.my that the locally-assembled CX-3 will go on sale in Malaysia in the fourth quarter of this year, possibly around November, while export operations to the Philippines will begin shortly after that.
Currently, Mazda Malaysia already exports the CX-5 to Thailand so it is only logical for Mazda Malaysia to expand its export business to the Philippines with the CX-3. Plus, Bermaz Motor also holds the distribution rights to Mazda vehicles in the Philippines.
Globally, there is an acute shortage for the CX-3, with a waiting list that's stretching past 6 months in many markets. As of now, Mazda’s Ujina plant in Hiroshima, Japan and the Ford-Mazda co-owned Auto Alliance Thailand (AAT) plant in Rayong are the only two plants in the world producing the CX-3.
The Thai-assembled CX-3 is only for domestic sales. Malaysia and Philippines currently import the CX-3 from Japan. With the Kulim plant joining the fray, Mazda hopes to ease the current supply shortage for the CX-3 by 2017.
Carlist.my also understands that Mazda Malaysia is in the midst of upgrading its plant to cater to the anticipated increase in demand. The plant is situated within the grounds of the Berjaya-Sime Darby co-owned Inokom plant in Kulim, Kedah, and currently manufactures the Mazda CX-5 and Mazda 3.
Of course, neither Bermaz Motor nor Mazda Malaysia has officially confirmed the news. As it is, this remains as just a rumour within the industry.
Read our review of the fully-imported Mazda CX-3 here.