Fancy the Subaru Forester but can’t afford the price tag of over RM200k for now? Wait a few more years and you might just be able to lay your hands on a more affordable Subaru Forester, thanks to a CKD deal that’s coming up.

According to Japanese business publication The Nikkei, Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru) and Tan Chong International’s Motor Image will begin joint auto assembly of Subaru cars in Malaysia by the year 2013. Details are said to be unfinalised, but the first model likely to be assembled here in Malaysia from Japanese-origin CKD packs it the Subaru Forester. Initial output plans are about 5,000 units per annum.

Future plans are to increase local parts procurement in order to drive down costs, rather than importing all parts from Japan and paying duties on them. Malaysia will end up being the regional assembly hub for Subaru. The company plans to reach other countries within the trading bloc via its ASEAN location.

The Forester is currently available in Malaysia as a 2.5XT Turbo, featuring a 2.5 litre turbocharged 4-cylinder boxer engine making 230 PS at 5,200rpm and 320Nm of torque at 2,800rpm, mated to a 4-speed automatic.