China cars are getting more famous in Malaysia and soon, China’s BYD auto car models like BYD FO and BYD F3 including electric cars will be introduced by Berjaya. They will build a car manufacturing plant in Malaysia. Read full news from bernama below and pic from thesun
Berjaya Corporation Bhd (BCorp) plans to team up with Chinese carmaker BYD Auto Company Ltd to set up a manufacturing plant in Malaysia to tap the global right-hand drive passenger car market.
Both parties signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday to develop BYD Auto’s FO right-hand drive one-litre model for the Malaysian and the Asean markets.
BCorp’s executive director Datuk Francis Lee said the collaboration provided a good platform to promote Malaysia as a regional hub in the manufacture, assembly and distribution of automobiles.
“We are preparing to approach the Malaysian government to apply for the car manufacturing licence,” Lee said.
“We hope the government will be open to this idea as BYD Auto is a leading car manufacturer and this represents multiple opportunities for the local car industry,” he told reporters at the signing ceremony held at BYD Auto’s headquarters here.
The Malaysian government lifted a freeze on car manufacturing licences for car models above 1.8 litres in the last revised National Automotive Policy, announced at end of last year.
Lee said BCorp hoped to conclude an agreement with BYD Auto by end of this year, with the investment to include a feasibility study on the conversion of the F0’s left-hand drive version to right-hand drive and its related follow-up research and development.
“Currently, negotiations are ongoing. If successful, Berjaya will build the manufacturing plant at a 100-acre site in Bukit Tagar, Selangor, and we anticipate completion within two to three years,” he said.
Berjaya owns about 16,000 acres of land which were bought from the French group Socfin in mid-90s.
Lee said initially Berjaya was looking at options to carry out contract manufacturing for BYD Auto’s F0 model at local plants with excess capacity.
“We will take things one step at a time. Eventually, we will bring in more BYD Auto models, including new energy vehicles,” he said.
Through this initiative, Berjaya stands to tap incentives or rebates offered by the government for green technology vehicles, he added.
BYD Auto’s marketing department manager Paul Lin said the company hoped to capture about five per cent share in the right-hand drive car passenger market.
“Right-hand drive passenger cars make up about 15 per cent of the global passenger car market with the Asean market accounting for over one million vehicle units,” Lin said.
“For BYD Auto it is an opportunity to leverage on BCorp’s experience and expertise in the motor industry as well as the competitive car market in Malaysia and neighbouring countries to expand market share and develop a more global presence,” he said.
The Asean countries, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom are among those with right-hand drive markets.
BYD Auto’s gas-powered cars, the F0 and F3, are among China’s top-sellers, propelling the company to become the country’s fourth largest car manufacturer by volume after Volkswagen, General Motors Corp and Toyota Motors Corp marques.
The Chinese carmaker, backed by US millionaire Warren Buffet, is now focusing on becoming the market leader in new energy vehicles.
Its energy vehicle model, the F3DM, operates in either full electric or gas-electric modes while the soon-to-be-launched e6 model will be the first pure electric vehicle.
The e6 is due to be launched in China in first quarter of this year and will be introduced in the US market by year-end.
BYD Auto hopes to be the biggest carmaker in China by 2015 and in the world by 2025.
Berjaya owns distribution rights for brands such as Mazda, Chana Era, Skoda and Mercedes Benz.
Lee said the company will soon embark on assembling the Mazda 3 completely knocked down (CKD) model in Malaysia.