Mazda Malaysia, the joint venture between Mazda Motor and Bermaz Motor to locally assemble Mazda vehicles in Kulim, Kedah, is expected begin export of Malaysia-assembled CX-5 models to the Philippines in 2017.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Bermaz, which also distributes Mazda vehicles in the Philippines via Bermaz Auto Philippines, will switch its sourcing for the CX-5 from Japan to Malaysia sometime in the second half of 2017.
This follows the recent upgrade at Mazda Malaysia’s assembly facility in Kulim, Kedah, which saw the assembler doubling its annual capacity to 45,000 units. It currently assembles the Mazda 3 and CX-5, with the latter exported to Thailand as well.
Judging at the rumoured timeline, it is also reasonable to conclude that the CX-5 referred to here is most probably the all-new, second-generation CX-5, as it is very unlikely for Bermaz Auto Phippines to switch its model sourcing arrangement at the tail-end of the model’s lifecycle.
The all-new CX-5 was previewed at last month’s Los Angeles Auto Show, and is set to be launched in Japan by February 2017.
On a related matter, we have also learned that Mazda Malaysia is unlikely to locally assemble the CX-3. Earlier this year, we’ve reported that Mazda Malaysia plans to commence local assembly of the CX-3 by the end of 2016, with exports to Philippines to begin shortly after that. We now understand that the plan is unlikely to go ahead, and is likely to have been replaced by the CX-5, which has a far bigger market potential than the CX-3.
Currently, the CX-3 sold in Malaysia and Philippines is imported from Japan. Thailand does local-assemble the CX-3 but it's only for the domestic market.