KUALA LUMPUR, 19 December 2012: Motor Image, a subsidiary of Tan Chong International Limited, today celebrates a major milestone, as the first Subaru XV officially rolled off the production line at its Kuala Lumpur assembly facility.
In partnership with Japan's Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd, the manufacturer of Subaru, the local assembly initiative is the cornerstone of a series of bold moves designed to significantly expand the Group's presence in the region.
The rollout ceremony was officiated by Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, Y.B Dato' Mukhriz Tun Mahathir, reflecting the support of the Malaysian government towards Tan Chong's initiatives in the automotive industry.
More than 5,000 units of the Subaru XV 2.0i and Subaru XV 2.0i-Premium, will be produced annually for Indonesia (starting price at RP338 million), Malaysia (starting price at RM150,000), and Thailand (starting price at THB1.35 million).
At least 65 per cent of the vehicles assembled in Malaysia will be for export, while the rest will be distributed locally. Since the Subaru XV was first introduced in September, Motor Image has received overwhelming response for the compact SUV from the three countries.
Revenues in the three markets are expected to increase more than 10-fold within the first year of introducing the locally assembled vehicles.
Mr Glenn Tan, Executive Director of Tan Chong International Limited said, "This development is a significant milestone for us as the ability to locally assemble Subaru cars in Malaysia allows us to leverage inter-ASEAN trade agreements, giving us an advantage in our plans to widen our vehicle distribution network."
"This initiative also shows our capabilities and versatility as an automotive powerhouse, both of which are strengthening our foothold in Asia," he added.
The Group's growth strategy is also reflected in a rapid scaling of the Motor Image Group presence:
- The opening of another 15 sales and distribution outlets in Indonesia from seven to 22 this year, with 11 more planned through 2013;
- The establishment of 18 sales and distribution outlets in Thailand with four more planned through 2013;
- By the end of 2013, another seven more sales and distribution outlets in Malaysia, added to the current 16 outlets.
Subaru today enjoys strong demand for its 'All Wheel Drive' vehicles, throughout the region, particularly in the Asian markets with over 13,000 units sold in 2011.
Motor Image introduced Subaru in Singapore 26 years ago in 1986. The company has since set up vehicle sales and distribution networks in Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Southern China, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, with the aim of letting more people in the region discover and enjoy the difference of driving a Subaru.