BMW Group Malaysia has introduced the locally assembled BMW 523i at its assembly plant in Kulim, Kedah. The entry-level F10 5-Series was priced at RM398,800 (CBU) when it was launched in Malaysia in May, but local assembly has brought the price down to RM383,800 (OTR, without insurance, with BMW Service Inclusive + Repair). This translates to savings of RM15,000 for the customer.

The 523i is powered by a 2.5-litre straight-six (N52) with 204 bhp and 250 Nm of torque, an increase of 14 bhp and 20 Nm over its predecessor, and matching the E60 525i in torque. Paired to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, this car sprints to 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds on its way to a 234 km/h top speed.

With this CKD 523i, the price gap between it and the other variant in the range – the RM598,800 535i – is even bigger, leaving space for a mid-level F10. BMW Group Malaysia has confirmed that they will be introducing a locally assembled BMW 528i later in the year. By the way, the first shipment of CBU 523i cars was fully sold within the first month of its launch.

Operational since 2008, the BMW Assembly plant in Kulim has wheeled out over 4,900 units to date. The facility employs over 400 employees who work on the 5-Series and 3-Series. It is operated in partnership with Inokom Corporation, and while both BMW and Inokom share factory space, they operate separate assembly lines.

“The BMW assembly line facilities in Kulim are as advanced as any BMW production facility anywhere in the world and has led to the introduction of superior premium quality assembly line technology, practices and standards to Malaysia,” said Manfred Zink, Production Manager and Plant Representative of BMW Group Malaysia.

For the F10’s launch story, full spec sheet and gallery, click here.