KIA Motors Corporation and Bermaz Auto Berhad (BAuto) has formed a strategic partnership to drive the expansion of production and/or assembly of Kia vehicles in Malaysia.
At a “special announcement” in Shah Alam this afternoon, the companies stated that a newly-incorporated company to be known as Kia Malaysia Sdn Bhd (KMSB) shall be formed to undertake the assembly of completely knocked down (CKD) Kia vehicles in Malaysia (Kia JV).
To start with, three models are planned under the Kia JV for the Malaysian market whereby Kia Seltos and Kia Carnival are slated for start of production under this new set up while the third model will be determined at a later stage.
Kia intends to make KMSB the regional manufacturing hub for its Kia brand of vehicles in ASEAN countries and other potential markets.
In line with its expansion plan and transformation strategy brought about by the new brand purpose, Kia has also appointed BAuto’s subsidiary, Dinamikjaya Motors Sdn Bhd (DJMSB), as the new distributor of Kia vehicles in Malaysia.
Kia recognised the vast potential the market brings and “finds it timely to raise the bar to progressively tap into its potential”.
As the new distributor, DJMSB holds the right to distribute and sell Kia vehicles, CKD and completely built up (CBU), sale of genuine parts as well as in the provision of after-sales service and to build Kia’s brand reputation and awareness in Malaysia (Kia Distributorship).
Kia Asia pacific president and CEO Tae Hun (Ted) Lee said: “After months of searching for the right partner, Kia is delighted to enter into the Kia JV and Kia Distributorship with BAuto.
“With BAuto’s proven capability in successfully building up automotive marques in Malaysia and the Philippines as well as their automotive manufacturing experience, we believe we have placed the Kia brand in good hands under the capable leadership of its executive chairman, Datuk Seri Ben Yeoh.”
BAuto executive chairman Yeoh said: “We are pleased to be given this opportunity to undertake the Kia JV and Kia Distributorship with our partner, Kia under Hyundai Motor Group, which is Korea’s second-largest multinational automotive manufacturer and currently the fifth-largest automotive manufacturer in the world.
“Kia vehicles are well-known for their stylish looks, packed with smart features, frequent facelifts and new launches that keep prospective buyers excited over its products.
“The Kia JV and Kia Distributorship will complement our existing group automotive businesses and we look forward to a successful collaboration with Kia.
Lee added that BAuto is a renowned public listed automotive company in Malaysia, which has a strong management team and good track record.
“Hence, Kia is confident that the Kia JV and Kia Distributorship will promote growth and bring synergistic benefits to both parties.”