Kia Motors has embarked on a joint venture with Bermaz Auto of Malaysia (BAuto) to assemble vehicles for ASEAN markets, including the Philippines.
This finally concludes the South Korean automaker’s quest for the perfect collaborator to sell its models in Malaysia and the rest of Southeast Asia.
Kia has found a new Malaysian partner to assemble and market its vehicles
A joint venture company, Kia Malaysia, is set to formalize the strategic partnership by being tasked with the local assembly of CKD Kia vehicles in the Malaysian market.
BAuto subsidiary Dinamikjaya Motors will handle the distribution for both CKD and CBU Kia models, as well as handling aftersales services.
BAuto takes over the Kia franchise from Malaysia’s Naza Group of Companies, which divested itself of the Kia and Peugeot automotive brands.
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“After months of searching for the right partner, Kia is delighted to enter into the Kia JV and Kia Distributorship with BAuto,” said Kia Asia Pacific President and Chief Executive Officer Tae Hun Lee, citing the company’s track record both in Malaysia and the Philippines.
BAuto’s Philippine arm, Berjaya Auto, is the official distributor of Mazda vehicles in the country.
The partnership also aims to turn Malaysia into a regional manufacturing hub for Kia, serving ASEAN countries and other potential markets. This means that our local Kia lineup could eventually consist of Malaysia-sourced vehicles.
Will our future lineup of Kia cars be assembled by our ASEAN neighbor?
Operations for the new joint venture will commence in 2022, with initial projections of 2,000 units in the first year. Analysts expect this figure to reach 7,000 by 2023, with a goal to eventually surpass the 10,000 to 12,000 annual unit sales currently enjoyed by Mazda, another car brand under BAuto’s wing.
Meanwhile, the new company will be unable to honor warranties and other commitments for Kia vehicles sold under the previous distributor, frustrating Malaysian owners of Kia cars. Nevertheless, Kia Malaysia is reaching out to customers, encouraging them to register at its official website for information on warranty claims and recalls.
We put together the latest automotive updates both here and abroad at Philkotse.com.
Joseph Paolo Estabillo