China’s Great Wall Motor (GWM) will soon be assembling cars in Malaysia, according to a recent report.
GWM and EP Manufacturing Berhad (EPMB) signed a contract earlier this week for local assembly (CKD) operations that will last eight years. EPMB has announced that its subsidiary PEPS-JV (Melaka) has been chosen as GWM’s contract vehicle assembler in Malaysia.
In accordance with the agreement, EPMB will shortly start assembly and production operations at its manufacturing site in Melaka’s Hicom Pegoh Industrial Park for the Haval H6 and Jolion SUVs. By 2028, EPMB says it wants to produce up to 20,000 units a year.
For the time being, Haval already sells fully imported models in Malaysia including the H1, H2 and H9, so has a market presence.
In addition to GWM, EPMB and China’s BAIC International Development recently signed a memorandum of understanding for the Pegoh facility to produce the BAIC BJ40P and X55 II SUVs domestically.
The decision to move into car assembly is a reflection of EPMB’s unwavering commitment to vertically integrate our business, says its CEO, Ahmad Razlan Mohamed. “This strategic move presents a prime opportunity to expand our revenue streams and broaden our business portfolio.”
In an effort to build fully electric pick-up trucks, GWM has also recently started producing the Ora Good Cat in Thailand. This project also includes the construction of a plant for assembling battery packs and an R&D centre.
There is more to this GWM move than meets the eye. It’s not just about assembling cars locally to keep the price down and elevate the brand’s presence, given that it already markets three models here. Great Wall intends to establish Malaysia as its ASEAN base for right-hand drive models, including localised production of parts and batteries for certain models.