DRB-HICOM is stepping up its automotive business in Malaysia. Despite rumours not more than a month ago alleging that the relationship between DRB-HICOM and Suzuki had gone sour, it looks like things are the exact opposite.
The latest news is that DRB-HICOM’s plant in Pekan will be exporting its first Suzuki Swift in April 2010. The Bernama report did not say which markets the Malaysian-assembled car would be sold in, but logic says that it’s the ASEAN region.
UPDATE: Chips Yap of Motortrader dropped us a tip that our Pekan plant’s sole export market for now is Brunei.
DRB-HICOM group MD Datuk Seri Mohd Khamil Jamil also revealed that its Suzuki Malaysia Automobile unit would be launching two new Suzuki models soon, and one of them will be CKD. Our local Suzuki line-up currently consists of the Swift, Swift Sport, the SX4 Sedan, the SX4 Crossover and the Grand Vitara. I’m not sure what else is available to be launched, perhaps the Kizashi and a new locally-assembled Alto? There is also the Suzuki Splash (a co-developed model with GM and also sold as the Opel Agila), also known as the Suzuki Ritz in India.
Since Suzuki is now (or soon to be) just under 20% owned by Volkswagen, this is as close to Malaysia being a VW regional assembly hub as we’ve been able to get so far. Volkswagen makes good cars and we should enjoy them with CKD price tags!