We could be looking at more affordable CKD Volkswagens in Malaysian showrooms by early 2012, if Volkswagen Group Malaysia’s plans are on schedule. VGM MD Andreas Prinz said yesterday at the opening of Volkswagen’s new 3S centre in PJ that the company would be finalizing its CKD plans by the first half of this year.

The company is currently still finalizing various options such as local partners as well as where the plant will be. Once finalised, it would take another 12 months to 18 months before the plant is ready to churn out locally assembled Golf GTIs for local consumption. The plant will apparently cater for both local consumption as well as regional exports. It would be Volkswagen’s second ASEAN assembly plant after the Touran assembly plant in Indonesia. The Indonesian plant is expected to slowly become a full fledged manufacturing plant instead of just doing assembly.

Mr Prinz also revealed that there will a few interesting Volkswagen launches this year. He mentioned a 1.4 litre Golf – could it be that we’re finally going to see a twin-charged Golf Sport TSI here in Malaysia? Or is it the Golf 1.4 TSI with the single turbocharger making 122 horses? Other models coming up by the middle of this year are a 1.4 litre version of the Scirocco and a 1.2 litre version of the Polo. He didn’t mention this at the event but according to VW’s website itself, the Passat CC is also apparently being updated with the DSG gearbox, replacing the 6-speed auto.

The new RM1.2 million PJ 3S centre is located at Jalan 222 and is operated by F A Wagen Sdn Bhd, a member of Federal Auto Holdings Berhad. It is also the first authorised outlet in Malaysia to achieve total compliance with Volkswagen’s new corporate identity. The branch has a 4,600 square feet showroom capable of displaying up to seven cars. The service centre is equipped with 8 work bays and the latest diagnostic systems and specialised tools needed to service the new generation of Volkswagen models offered here in Malaysia. There is also a dedicated body repair and painting facility with a baking oven. F A Wagen plans to open two more branches within the next 12 months. This includes a purpose-built 6-storey flagship in Glenmarie, Shah Alam that is targeted to commence operations in September 2010 and a 3S branch in Johor Bahru that is scheduled to open in 2011.