With the COVID-19 pandemic starting to tarnish most of our best laid plans for the second year in a row, there was little reason to believe that a move like this would have even been on the table. But here we are with a recent report that seemingly sheds light on Porsche’s exciting plans for Malaysia.
According to The Edge, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, the Zuffenhausen-based automaker is apparently laying down plans to set up an assembly plant here to both engage in the usual CKD-type operations as well as strengthen their foothold in the region by acting as their Southeast Asian hub.
This would mark a major investment in Malaysia’s automotive sector as well as being a very significant sign of confidence in its long term growth potential given that it will be the first Porsche factory ever to be located outside Germany.
Seeing as how Thailand and Indonesia have served as regional centres for various other major automakers, it’s very encouraging to see Malaysia’s importance rise in Porsche's eyes. After all, we already have locally assembled AMGs and BMW (sub) M cars.
Porsche’s Malaysian presence has been handled for the past decade by local distributors Sime Darby Auto Performance, and the aforementioned report states that Inokom Corp (a subsidiary of Sime Darby Bhd) will be the marque’s primary partner in their local assembly efforts.
Currently, Inokom’s facility in Kulim, Kedah is responsible for the CKD rollout of various models from Mazda, BMW, and Hyundai. While it is likely that a new factory will be built solely for use by Porsche, it will probably remain within the same area.
Should this come to pass, it would definitely mean that certain Porsches models sold here will be priced more attractively than they are at the moment, which has always lead to a stronger sales uptake, but then again we very much doubt that their full line-up will be designated for local assembly, at least initially. It’s fair to get your hopes a little elevated for Macans and Cayennes priced more sharply, however.
Of course, while very exciting, none of these details have been confirmed officially, and we’ll be keeping a sharp eye for new developments on this story as it happens.
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