This week’s copy of The Edge Weekly has a story on DRB-Hicom’s Euromobil subsidiary reportedly set to “lose” its Audi franchise in Malaysia, with distribution slated to be taken over instead by a new “Audi Malaysia” principal company. Euromobil has been the exclusive distributor for the marque here since February 2010.
The headline may have a somewhat negative tone to it, but things like this have had a history of happening in Malaysia. If anything, it’s more of a sign of Audi wanting to put more focus to the Malaysian market, deciding to roll up its sleeves and be physically present here to grow the brand.
So, what’s likely to happen is a new “Audi Malaysia” company coming in to take over the distributor role, with Euromobil becoming a “master dealer.” Euromobil will still operate Audi dealerships, with the only question being how long it will have exclusivity of this.
The Audi A3 Sedan is the latest Audi launched by Euromobil
DRB-Hicom will also likely continue to import Audi cars in through its DRB-Hicom Auto Solutions company – DRB-Hicom Auto Solutions currently does the same for Volkswagen CBU cars, and so happens to assemble CKD Volkswagens as well through HICOM Automotive Manufacturers in Pekan, Pahang.
We’ve heard the rumours of an Audi Malaysia being set up for quite some time now, thanks to headhunters calling up auto industry folks to try to fill up key positions. Audi Malaysia – which the rumour mill says is set to make an official announcement on its arrival early next month – will be located at the same building as Volkswagen Group Malaysia in Bangsar.
The same thing happened to Auto Bavaria in the past – it switched roles from a distributor to a mega dealer for BMWs. Also, Kah Motor’s Honda distributorship was taken over by Honda Malaysia. The opposite can happen as well – Ford was run directly by Ford Malaysia, but the principal eventually decided to exit the Malaysian market, so distributorship was taken over by Sime Darby Auto ConneXion.