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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Chinese carmaker in Malaysia

China carmaker Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd’s plan to assemble its cars in Malaysia is now back on track, making it the first Chinese vehicle to be assembled here, after the government allowed a portion of its cars to be sold in the domestic market.

The assembly of its 1.3 litre Geely CK1 sedan will be carried out via Information Gateway Corporation Sdn Bhd (IGC), a local company that holds the exclusive franchise to assemble, manufacture and distribute the China carmakers’ right-hand drive cars.

Under the latest collaboration, IGC will sell 20% of the locally-assembled Geely vehicles in Malaysia with the rest exported. The Geely CK1 export price would be between US$5,000 and US$6,000 but the price for the domestic market has not been determined.

IGC group executive chairman Tan Sri Cam Soh Thiam Hong said IGC will assemble up to 10,000 Geely CK1 units by August 2007 (one year after roll-out) following the strategic collaboration between the two companies.

The company had in late last year suspended its planned production project in Malaysia due to a policy reversal by the government which required Geely to export all the cars it produced in the country.

When Geely signed the deal in May 2005, it had intended to sell at least 90,000 completely-knocked-down (CKD) units worth US$450 million in Malaysia.

On the 80:20 ratio for the export and domestic sales, Soh said: “This is in line with the National Automotive Policy and the government’s vision to develop the country into an automotive manufacturing and assembly hub.

“The Geely CK1 assembly will be done at Oriental Assemblers Sdn Bhd in Johor Bahru and we expect roll out by July this year. This model will only have 40% local content as we will purchase 60% from Geely."


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