Hino Motors, the truck and bus maker from Japan, has entered into a joint-venture agreement with long-time partner, MBM Resources Berhad (MBMR), to establish its first manufacturing plant in Malaysia.

Hino will hold a 58% stake in the JV company, Hino Motors Manufacturing (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, while the balance will be owned by MBMR. The plant, which will involve an initial investment of RM140 million, will be located on a 42-acre site in Sendayan TechValley, Negeri Sembilan. Construction is scheduled to begin in February 2013 and end early 2014.

With an annual production capacity of around 10,000 units, the factory will manufacture the full range of Hino products comprising small, medium and heavy duty trucks, as well as buses for the Malaysian market.

“This strategic investment to set up a manufacturing plant here, we expect, will further strengthen our market leadership in the commercial vehicle segment in Malaysia where there is a growing demand for Hino products,” said Hino Motors Ltd President, Yoshio Shirai.

The JV with Hino is another boost for MBMR’s automotive division, which also counts Perodua, Daihatsu, Federal Auto and Oriental Metal Industries as members.

“While we are happy to see the natural extension of our partnership, we are even more excited that Hino has decided to make the Sendayan plant a full-fledged manufacturing facility. This means that a lot of world-class manufacturing and quality control processes will be put in place. This can only be good for the local automotive industry,” MBMR Group MD Looi Kok Loon said.