Chery’s New Shah Alam Plant Is First Jaecoo Facility In ASEAN

Chery celebrates the opening of this new plant by rolling out its first locally-assembled Jaecoo J7s. 

While its existence was previously alluded to by its head honchos earlier this year, Chery Malaysia has nevertheless since officially launched its new factory in Shah Alam. Though interestingly enough, there will be no Omodas or Tiggos rolling off this production line just yet, as this first dedicated production plant for the Chinese automaker over here will be exclusively responsible for churning out its models from its Jaecoo sub-brand instead. 

In fact, the opening of this site was commemorated with the first Jaecoo J7 AWD SUV rolling off its production line. Malaysia is currently the first in ASEAN to locally assembled this particular lifestyle 4×4, with it incidentally finally confirmed to officially launch locally come July 19th. 

Strategically located in the Shah Alam industrial zone, Chery proudly touts for this factory to have resulted in the creation of 500 new jobs, with the potential to grow further in line with market demands too. Further specifics regarding this new plant in Shah Alam however remain unknown thus far, with no information given in terms of its investment into this operation nor its anticipated annual production capacity.  

That said, a spokesperson for Jaecoo has hinted for this new Shah Alam site to be capable of single and double shifts, and is scalable according to local demand. It has also been confirmed that other models to roll out of this factory aside from the J7 includes the larger J8 three-row SUV, as well as the all-electric Defender-esque J6. 

Though perhaps most interesting is the fact that this Jaecoo factory in Shah Alam will not just be churning out cars for local consumption, but has apparently been built with exports to the ASEAN region in mind too. This is to be in line with its parent company Chery’s plans to turn Malaysia into its global right hand drive research hub, where it can develop right-hand drive versions of its cars not just for local and Southeast Asian consumption, but also for markets like the UK and Australia.

Now to that end, this new Shah Alam plant will have on site a research and development centre dedicated to Chery’s right-hand-drive conversion efforts, as well as a test track. The Chinese automaker’s rationale for choosing Malaysia meanwhile as its RHD R&D centre includes our tropical climate being ideal for hot weather testing, in addition to the existing local expertise in the automotive industry being conducive to its endeavours. 

Interestingly, these newly-developed RHD Chery models will likely still continue to roll out of its existing production line at the Inokom plant in Kulim, Kedah. This aforementioned site currently is responsible for locally-assembling the Omoda 5 and Tiggo 8, with it incidentally only recently made its 10,000th vehicle in an astonishingly short 8 months after commencing operations. 

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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