Motor Image, distributor of Subaru vehicles in Malaysia and the region, gave the locally-assembled Subaru XV its official roll-out ceremony this afternoon at the Tan Chong Motor Assemblies (TCMA) plant in Segambut, KL. The event was officiated by Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Mukhriz Tun Mahathir.
The original script read 5,000 units produced per year, to be shared between ASEAN right-hand drive markets Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, although MI boss Glenn Tan raised the 6,500 figure at the recent Forester regional launch – 70% of output will be exported to our neighbours, with the remainder for local consumption.
“This development is a significant milestone for us as the ability to locally assemble Subaru cars in Malaysia allows us to leverage inter-ASEAN trade agreements, giving us an advantage in our plans to widen our distribution network,” said Tan, who is also executive director of Tan Chong International Limited.
“This initiative also shows our capabilities and versatility as an automotive powerhouse, both of which are strengthening our foothold in Asia,” he added.
Armed with the XV, Motor Image is scaling up operations in Malaysia, which by the end of 2013, will have seven more outlets added to the current 16. There will also be a new multi-storey Subaru hub in PJ (now under construction) modelled after the modern facility in Toa Payoh, Singapore.
The same growth story is happening in Thailand and Indonesia. This year, 18 new outlets were opened in the Land of Smiles, with four more to join the network in 2013. In Indonesia, 15 new centres were established this year, with 11 more planned through 2013.
It’s clear then that the XV is an important car for the group. The crossover is powered by a new FB series 2.0 litre four-cylinder boxer engine that pushes out 150 PS and 196 Nm of torque at 4,200 rpm. It’s a Subaru, so drive goes to all wheels via the brand’s trademark Symmetrical AWD system. The gearbox is a Lineartronic CVT with six virtual ratios. Steering shift paddles are included.
Standard kit includes Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), dual front and driver’s knee airbags, cruise control, automatic air-con and a Kenwood two-DIN touchscreen ICE system. The XV’s distinctive 17-inch wheels are wrapped with 225/55 Continental MaxContact MC5 tyres.
I find it rather amusing that as I type this in the Segambut factory canteen, I’m sharing space with over half a dozen Japanese men in Subaru overalls having nasi campur with their local teammates. So yes, quality control for this CKD car is CBU imported from Fuji Heavy Industries, Japan, no less!
This website has had a long history reporting the XV. Back in July 2011, we were first to break the news of Subaru’s CKD plans for ASEAN, with Malaysia as the hub, followed by the revelation of the XV as the chosen model.
Full explanation then came in our exclusive interview with Motor Image boss Glenn Tan, where he revealed more about the ASEAN-bound XV as well as MI’s big plans for Malaysia.
More recently, we got up close and sampled the XV both in Japan CBU form, as well as the Segambut-assembled version, which made its regional debut at the 2012 Indonesia International Motor Show three months ago.
The CKD Subaru XV started to appear in showrooms last month, and we paid a visit to Motor Image’s PJ outlet to snap some pics of the actual car that customers will get. Click here to view the showroom gallery.
So today’s official roll-out is like the penultimate chapter of our Subaru XV book, with only a full test drive report yet to come. As mentioned, the XV is now in all Motor Image showrooms retailing for RM150,735, on-the-road with insurance.
Click here for a full gallery of the CKD Subaru XV.