PH-spec Kia vehicles could eventually come from Malaysia

Updated Apr 09, 2021 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates

Operations are set to commence next year with three models planned.

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 assembly line

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.

Three models have been lined up for production at Kia Malaysia’s Inokom facility, with two of them confirmed to be the all-new Carnival MPV and Seltos subcompact crossover.   

Kia Carnival

The next-generation Carnival is one of three models eyed for production in Malaysia

“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.   

Kia logo

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

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo


Joseph has been a member of various car clubs since he got his driver's license in 2004 – old enough to remember riding in taxicabs with analog meters, but his fascination with cars goes way back. After nearly two decades of working in broadcast media, he shifted gears by coming on board as Philkotse’s first Filipino member and staff writer in 2017.

Apart from his role in Philkotse as Content Team Lead, Joseph has written episodes for Drive, which has been airing on CNN Philippines for five seasons running. He has also delivered content for various car dealerships based in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jeep, Dodge, among others.

Keeping his hopes high and his revs low, he dreams about owning a Kei car when he retires. Hates slow parkers.

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