Sime Darby Berhad will go into a partnership with Porsche AG to locally assemble sports cars (CKD) for the Malaysian market. This will also be the first Porsche plant outside of Europe.
Production is scheduled to begin in 2022 and initially, CKD operations will be limited to the Malaysian market only for now.
“This partnership with Porsche marks a coming of age of our relationship with the brand. To be entrusted to assemble cars for one of the world’s most admired sports car brands speaks volumes of the highly qualified and competent Malaysian talent we have at Sime Darby and our ability to provide meaningful value to our partners,” Sime Darby Berhad Group Chief Executive Officer Dato’ Jeffri Salim Davidson said.
“The assembly portfolio is a key element in our growth strategy, and we are pleased to extend our relationship with Porsche from retail and distribution to include assembly,” he added.
“Malaysia and the whole ASEAN is a region of great potential and we look forward to the first locally assembled models reaching our Malaysian customers next year,” said Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board for Sales and Marketing at Porsche AG. “As Porsche is moving into a new era of mobility, Malaysia and the ASEAN region are gaining increasing importance. This step now is part of a long-standing initiative to keep pace with rapidly evolving customer and market demands.”
“Every Porsche assembled by Sime Darby will go through the same rigorous standards and processes as its European counterparts. Quality will be a shared key commitment between Porsche AG and Sime Darby to all our customers, in assembling Porsche vehicles. We will continue our close engagement with Porsche AG to ensure that we meet the Porsche standard every step of the way,” Dato’ Jeffri added.
Two things that require further clarification regarding this much-awaited confirmation is:
a. Where will the Sime Darby plant be located? Will it be in Kulim as earlier speculated?
b. The press release mentions sports cars, not SUVs. It was earlier speculated that local CKD operations would encompass the Cayenne and Macan SUVs.
Currently, Porsche Malaysia lists the 718, 911, Taycan, Panamera as available for sale in Malaysia. If however, the Sime Darby assembly plant is to assemble the 718 and 911, dare we expect a drastic reduction in price?
We await more news regarding this development.