Mazda Malaysia, the joint venture between Mazda Motor Corporation and Bermaz Motor tasked to locally assemble Mazda vehicles in Malaysia, is expected to double the production capacity at its facility in Kulim, Kedah next year.
Mazda’s facility is located within the grounds of the Inokom plant, which also houses independently managed body shops assembling BMW and Hyundai models.
First opened in 2014, the line RM100 million Mazda-managed portion of the plant had an initial capacity of 20,000 units per year. It currently assembles the Mazda 3 and CX-5, with the latter being exported to Thailand as well.
We understand that previously, the paint shop is shared with other brands operating within the Inokom plant. Following a five-week plant shutdown that saw a temporary drop in sales of Mazda vehicles in July, the upgrade could possibly mean that Mazda will now have an independently-managed paint shop exclusively for Mazda models only.
No longer having its output constrained by a shared paint shop, Mazda Malaysia is expected to double its output to around 43,000 to 45,000 units per year in 2017.
It has been rumoured that the CX-3, currently imported from Japan, is being earmarked for local assembly, and that the Malaysia-assembled CX-3 variant will be exported to the Philippines.
Diesel-powered variants of the Mazda 2 and Mazda 6 are also said to be in the pipeline for local assembly.