Automotive

Published on August 30th, 2021 | by Joshua Chin

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Porsche Officially Announces CKD Production Plans Locally

Malaysia will be the first Porsche production plant outside of its home market of Germany. 

After much speculation and rumours, it has since officially been confirmed that Porsche will be setting up CKD operations over here in Malaysia. The first such site outside of its home market of Europe, expect therefore for some Stuggart stallions to soon rolling out right in our backyard come 2022. 

Now delving that little bit deeper into the details of this local assembly plan by Porsche locally, the German automaker revealed that it has partnered with Sime Darby Motors in this endeavour. The exact location as to where the CKD operation will be taking place however is unfortunately still an unknown thus far, though like what was reported previously, Sime Darby’s Kulim plant in Kedah is looking to be the likeliest candidate for the job at hand. 

In continuing on the topic of what is currently unknown too, Porsche is also still remaining mum on which of its cars will be locally assembled over here, with all that has been officially confirmed on this front thus far being that these made-in-Malaysia models is to (initially) be for the local market only. Having said that however, the whispers on the grapevine are currently pointing to the Cayenne as being the debut model for the German automaker’s self-proclaimed small-scale CKD operations over here, with the smaller Macan and all-electric Taycan possibly earmarked to be rolling out locally as well further down the line. 

More information in regards to Porsche’s local assembly endeavours should become known in the coming months. Though one thing for sure is that even with the CKD incentives offered currently by the government, the price reduction on these Stuggart stallions will likely not suddenly see it become the bargain that everyone is ideally (and hopelessly) wishing for it to be. 

If however anyone is currently in the market for a new BMW X5 or Mercedes-Benz GLE, it might perhaps be prudent just to hold off on the purchase for now. That is because the reduced priced delta between a locally-assembled Cayenne and these similarly CKD German SUVs might just sway more than a few buyers to part with their cash at an official Porsche showroom instead. 

And in speaking about Porsche’s efforts for localisation, it is not just Malaysia that the German automaker is paying attention to too, as news of the local CKD endeavours over here comes along with plans for the automaker of a new permanent research and development satellite in Shanghai next year. Coming in addition to the Porsche Design China and Porsche Engineering China facilities, this latest site will serve to further increase the company’s understanding of its customers in its single sales market, and hence improve its local product development in accordance with their customer’s requirements and wishes.

PRESS RELEASE: Porsche meets the needs in Asia and is expanding its global engineering and assembly capacity.

The development work of the sports car manufacturer has a long tradition of using foreign development sites in search of tomorrow’s perfect sports car and services. From next year on the capacities will grow even further to include a new permanent research and development satellite in China, allowing a sustained focus on what is Porsche’s biggest single market. Furthermore, the company is strengthening its presence in the emerging markets of Southeast Asia. Beyond projects, such as the implementation of the region’s first cross-border high performance charging network in cooperation with Shell, Porsche will set up a small-scale local assembly in Malaysia to join the company’s network of production sites. The vehicles will specifically match local requirements and will be available for Malaysia only.

“We’re driven by curiosity, by perpetually learning and fine tuning our cars,” says Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board at Porsche. “Having a permanent home for this work in China will bring obvious benefits, particularly when it comes to reflecting and predicting our customer’s needs in China, a nation that has truly welcomed Porsche and has taken our cars to heart to the extent that it’s been our biggest sales market for six consecutive years.” The R&D satellite location in Shanghai is supposed to increase the understanding of the Chinese customers and their requirements, and to improve the local product development. It comes as an addition to Porsche Digital China founded as independent company early this year and Porsche Engineering China with its presence in the market for more than 20 years already. Blume: “The Chinese automotive market is very dynamic and customer preferences are highly specific. We want to meet these demands the best way possible.”

To meet the needs of worldwide customers, Porsche has established a dedicated and ever-growing network of permanent research and development locations around the world. It carries out important engineering and design work – with the lessons learned finding their way into the finished cars. The network of permanent research, development and testing locations operated by Porsche is based on several continents – all directly linked to the company’s engineering home in Weissach (Germany). These range from the frozen lakes of Arjeplog in northern Sweden where the majority of extreme cold weather testing is conducted, to the unique climate and roads found in Johannesburg, South Africa to the dry heat of California, USA. This work affects not just dynamics and vehicle quality, but also comfort and convenience features and the technology fitted to current and future Porsche sports cars.

Another example of long-standing global investments already established exists in Porsche Digital, a subsidiary of Porsche established in 2016. The company concentrates on researching and developing new customer-focused digital services and is headquartered in Germany with key offices in the US, Spain, China, Israel and Croatia.

“We’re proud to be a vibrant, global business and to be investing in localised programs to ensure our cars and services do reflect the specific needs of our markets outside of Europe. To do this best requires a permanent presence,” says Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board, Research and Development at Porsche. “The addition of a Chinese R&D satellite location, joining the existing research and development operations in Europe, North America and elsewhere, underlines our commitment to ensuring our cars remain relevant and attuned to our markets.”

Seize further growth opportunities in the ASEAN region

Southeast Asia represents a very dynamic market environment with significant growth and innovation potentials. Porsche is expanding its footprint in the ten-member ASEAN region (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) by setting up a local assembly together with its long-standing partner Sime Darby Berhad. Located in Malaysia, the site will be responsible for the final assembly of specific models for the local market from 2022 onwards. The facility will operate alongside Porsche’s established European network of production sites.

“We’re fortunate that, due to careful planning, our existing factories are more than up to the task of meeting current and future global demand for our cars,” says Albrecht Reimold, Member of the Executive Board for Production and Logistics at Porsche. “However, the new assembly site in Malaysia meets specific market needs and, although a standalone project and modest in size and capacity, it signals our willingness to learn and adapt to specific local market conditions.”

Malaysia as a founding state of the ASEAN bloc

For the last ten years, Porsche has enjoyed a close and trustful relationship with Sime Darby Berhad as the exclusive importer and distributor for the brand’s sports cars. That partnership coupled with a growing and dedicated Porsche fan-base in Malaysia has delivered impressive results even in challenging conditions, as reflected in a nine percent increase in deliveries in 2020. As a founding state of the ASEAN bloc, Malaysia offers significant business opportunities and a well-established automotive landscape.

“Malaysia and the whole ASEAN is a region of great potential and we look forward to the first locally assembled models reaching our Malaysian customers next year,” says Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board for Sales and Marketing at Porsche. “As Porsche is moving into a new era of mobility, Malaysia and the ASEAN region are gaining an increasing importance. This step now is part of a long-standing initiative to keep pace with rapidly evolving customer and market demands.”

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About the Author

Automotive journalist. Professional work on dsf.my and automacha.com. Personal writing found at driveeveryday.me. Instagram: @driveeveryday



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