Kia Philippines to source vehicles from Malaysia soon

Updated Dec 13, 2021 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates

Four Kia models could make their way here from Malaysia starting next year.

Globalization has impacted the automotive industry in a major way, with automakers now benefitting from assembly plants and supply chains across the globe. Kia Philippines, which sources its models from either South Korea or China, will eventually have a third option in Malaysia.

Kia Carnival

The fourth-generation Kia Carnival in our market could be coming from Malaysia by next year

Automotive website reports that the Philippines will be among the key export markets served when Kia Malaysia commences production of four vehicles: the Carnival MPV, Sportage compact crossover, Sorento midsize crossover, and Niro compact crossover. 

During its media briefing last December 10, Kia said its Malaysian CKD operations will play a key role in its success within the ASEAN market. According to the carmaker, Malaysia’s favorable CKD policies and established logistics channels make the country ideal to roll out its CKD program. 

Kia entered into a joint-venture partnership with Bermaz Auto (authorized distributor for Mazda in both Malaysia and the Philippines) to assemble vehicles. These will be both for domestic consumption and export to ASEAN from its Inokom plant in Kulim, Kedah. 

2023 Kia Niro

We could also be taking delivery of the Kia Niro crossover in every powertrain flavor available

The automaker laid out a five-year timeline which will initially see 6,000 units for export in 2022. If Kia Malaysia sticks to its projections, the company will be exporting as much as 19,000 out of the planned 30,000 units produced annually by 2026. 

Kia says that the four models planned for assembly in Malaysia will encompass both standard and hybrid versions. This will also include the Niro’s electric variant, which shares the powertrain configuration of the Hyundai Kona Electric. 

The all-new Carnival coming to our market will likely come from Kia’s Malaysia facilities in time for the model’s launch next year. Meanwhile, the Philippine-spec Sorento will initially be brought over as a CBU unit from South Korea, which means that a scheduled refresh in 2024 might see Kia Philippines switching to Malaysia for subsequent stocks. 

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Know more about Kia Sorento 2023

Kia Sorento

The Kia Sorento 2023 is the midsize crossover entry of the Korean automaker. Currently, Kia Philippines is offering the fourth-generation version of the nameplate which was introduced in 2020.  It is available in two variants with a price that ranges from Php 2,448,000 for the base EX to Php 2,648,000 for the flagship SX. Under the hood, this vehicle comes standard with a 2.2-liter Smartstream inline-4 diesel engine that is capable of making 199 horsepower and 441 Nm of torque. Only an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) is used to send power to the front wheels.

Dimensions-wise, the Sorento has a length of 4,810 mm, a width of 1,900 mm, and a height of 1,700 mm. Additionally, it has a wheelbase and ground clearance rated at 2,815 mm and 176 mm, respectively. Locally, this Korean midsize crossover competes against the likes of the Ford Explorer, Subaru Evoltis, and Mazda CX-9.

₱ 2,448,000 - ₱ 2,648,000

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo


Joseph holds a degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines Diliman and has been writing professionally since 1999. He has written episodes for CNN Philippines' motoring show Drive, and has worked on corporate projects for MG Philippines and Pilipinas Shell. Aside from being’s Content Lead, he also writes content for numerous car dealerships in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Maserati, among others.


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