Volkswagen Moving Forward In Quest To Be No.1, Sets Up Production In Malaysia
By Stephen Calogera
In its bid to surpass Toyota as the number one auto manufacturer in the world, Volkswagen will begin local production in Malaysia toward the end of 2011 when it starts to produce the Passat there, later adding production of the Polo and Jetta models at the end of 2012.
Christian Klingler, VW sales and marketing head, identified southeast Asia as a crucial market in the VW campaign. Initial capacity will be for several thousand vehicles, but that will successively increase as the years progress. The company is partnering with DRB Hicom – a major producer of passenger vehicles in Malaysia – to invest $318 million in the joint venture which may transform Malaysia into the regional hub for Volkswagen’s manufacturing operations.
Malaysia represents a market which sold more than 570,000 vehicles in 2010, and the third-largest economy in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Auto deliveries there rose 14% in the first ten months of 2010.
Volkswagen had previously attempted to enter the Malaysian market in 2007, but to no avail.