KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 — Malaysia will be producing locally assembled Volvo cars in Perak for the Asean market by 2022, a minister said.
Local daily The Star reported International Trade and Industry Minister II Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan as saying that Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group — which owns Volvo — plans to use Malaysia as a hub to assemble high-end cars for the Asean market.
"Geely is definitely bringing Volvo to Tanjung Malim. While Volvos are sold in Malaysia, it does not have a sophisticated plant in the country to produce them and Geely plans to do it in a big way," he was quoted saying in Gopeng yesterday.
The plant is to be operational in the next five years. The move will also see Geely upgrading the current Proton plant in Tanjung Malim, after it acquired a 49.9 per cent stake in the national carmaker.
Ong added that this will improve the quality of Proton cars and enable the vehicles to be competitive at an international level, especially in China.
"As a strategic partner, Geely can help Proton penetrate the China market. Malaysia's combined annual car sales, which includes Proton, Perodua and other brands is about 580,000 units.
"If we can get 1 per cent of China's market, it will be good for Proton. At its peak, Proton can only produce 140,000 cars (a year)," he explained, adding that China manufactures 28 million cars annually.