At the regional launch of the Subaru WRX and WRX STI in the Philippines, Tan Chong International executive director Glenn Tan revealed to members of the media that the Subaru Forester (pictured above) is being considered for local assembly (CKD) in Malaysia.
The fourth-gen SUV, which entered the Malaysian scene in mid-2013, is available in a sole 2.0 XT variant, and is fully imported (CBU) from Japan. Tan added that feasibility studies are currently being undertaken, and if all goes well, we could see the introduction of the CKD Forester sometime in 2016.
“From the onset we already start with the prospect of exporting, so we localise a lot (of parts) and that’s why (market introduction) takes so long,” said Tan. “If you just (produce) for the domestic market, you probably don’t need 40 (percentage of XV localisation as an example), and the turn-around time is much quicker.”
Much sooner, a new variant of the XV called the XV STI Performance Edition is set to launch in Malaysia, according to Tan. The name suggests that the crossover will be bestowed with parts from the STI catalogue.
“There’s no engine tweaks; it’s more about handling. We will introduce (the XV STI Performance Edition) sometime in July.” A 55-unit limited edition of the XV called the XV Crosstrek (second pic above) was introduced at KLIMS13 at the end of last year. That one had no mechanical changes whatsoever, but featured some exterior and interior add-ons.
Subaru is focussed mainly in the Klang Valley and Penang at present, but Motor Image Malaysia is set to expand its network from the current five branches and 11 dealers to six branches and 20 dealers by the end of the year.