Malaysian Nissan distirbutor Tan Chong will launch the Nissan Serena S-Hybrid in August 2013, brought forward from an initial plan to launch it in late November. According to a research house AmResearch, Tan Chong management decided to bring forward the launch date to capture the pre-Raya sales rush.

UPDATE: The Nissan Serena S-Hybrid is now officially launched – click here for the launch report and gallery

The Nissan Serena S-Hybrid will initially be brought in as a CBU unit to take advantage of the current duty exemptions on hybrid vehicles with engine capacities below 2,000 cc. A CBU import will also be able to take advantage of a stronger Ringgit.

However, AmResearch expects that if the hybrid MPV is a sales success, it will be localised by end 2014 as reliance on Approved Permits which are limited to less than 10% of total industry volume will limit the growth volume of the model.

We previously spotted the Nissan Serena S-Hybrid listed on sale on our classifieds website earlier this month. An ETCM sales advisor listed the hybrid MPV for RM14x,xxx, and the ad was accompanied by photos of the Serena S-Hybrid registered with the number plate WUY370. Read more about technical details of the MPV here: Nissan Serena S-Hybrid: RM14x,xxx on

AmResearch’s report also reveals quite a few things about what Tan Chong has up its sleeves in the next few years, likely garnered from investor briefings:

  • Nissan Livina facelift with potentially higher localisation (40% vs current 30%) to be launched in August 2013. Read more about the facelift here: Indonesian market Nissan Grand Livina facelift detailed.
  • A-segment car to be launched in 2014 – could this be a Nissan March or perhaps even a new Datsun?
  • New foreign OEM contract assembly announcement to happen this year – who will it be?

The foreign OEM contract assembly announcement is a rather interesting one, since it means the potential of price drops. The Subaru contract has already been announced. It could be Renault, but it wouldn’t really be a new announcement as the Kangoo had been CKD-ed here before.

Perhaps it could be Mitsubishi, as Nissan and Mitsubishi are currently collaborating on badge-engineering in Japan, and the next generation Nissan Navara and Mitsubishi Triton will be built in the same plant in Thailand. Mitsubishi signed an MoU with Proton to explore CKD production of Mitsubishi cars back in 2011, but we were told in November 2012 at the Mirage launch that while CKD plans are still on the cards, it’s local partner would not be Proton.