Chery officially announced its partnership with Inokom for CKD local assembly at the latter’s 200-acre facility in Kulim during the ongoing 2023 Malaysia Autoshow’s media day. Omoda 5 and Tiggo 8 Pro SUVs are the first two Chery vehicles that will be rolled off the Malaysian factory.
According to the country director of Chery Malaysia, Leo Chen:
“We are very excited to be partnering with Inokom. With nearly three decades of experience in assembling vehicles of many world-renowned brands, Inokom is an ideal partner for Chery in our mission to take root in Malaysia and provide Malaysian consumers with high-technology and high-quality vehicles that are ahead of the curve in terms of design.”
Chen also said that Malaysia would serve as the Chinese automaker’s ASEAN production base, despite the fact that Indonesia is also home to the local assembly of Chery vehicles. Exports from the Malaysian plant will go as far as Australia and to countries like Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, and Vietnam. With the exception of Vietnam, every one of the aforementioned nations is a right-hand drive market.
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The company’s plans to establish an R&D hub for right-hand drive products, which will include regional testing, training, and part distribution, were also disclosed by Chery’s Malaysian boss. Initial Malaysian versions will be ICE-powered, but local production of plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles is also planned. Chen went on to add:
“As we have done successfully in many other markets, Chery is determined to localize its operations in Malaysia as far as possible. We believe this will bring us closer to Malaysian consumers to fully understand their needs and wants, not to mention contribute economically to the nation through technology transfer as well as the creation of jobs and strategic opportunities.
Chery, according to Chen, is speeding up all other aspects of its localization strategy, including hiring top Malaysian talent in areas like product, sales, after-sales, branding, and marketing. Chery also plans to launch with at least 30 dealers covering all of the country’s major cities.
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