DRB-HICOM-ANNUAL-REPORT

We saw something interesting in DRB-Hicom’s Annual Report 2014 which was released earlier this month.

Look at page 93 for the section on HICOM Automotive Manufacturers (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd. HAMM operates a plant in Pekan, where foreign makes such as Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen are assembled.

There’s a list of future models that are expected to be locally assembled along with their expected Start of Production dates. I’ll list only the passenger cars here, as there are commercial vehicles listed as well.

  • Volkswagen Jetta GP – November 2014
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class Bluetec Hybrid – November 2014
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class W205 – January 2015

mercedes-benz-e300-bluetec-hybrid-0001

The E-Class Bluetec Hybrid is an interesting car. This is not the first time we’ve heard of this car coming to Malaysia. Back in August, a sales advisor posted an ad for it on our classifieds site oto.my in hope of getting some pre-launch bookings.

Under the hood is a 2.1 litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine with 204 hp and 500 Nm, paired to a 27 hp electric motor installed in the 7G-TRONIC gearbox in place of the torque converter. The big exec is no slouch, doing the 100 km/h sprint in 7.5 seconds, but the main selling point here is the combo of the diesel engine and electric motor, which results in a claimed combined fuel consumption of just 4.3 litres per 100 km.

The E-Class Bluetec Hybrid should qualify for 100% duty exemptions under the new NAP just like the S 400 Hybrid. If that’s true, expect an incredible pricetag, or super high equipment levels, or perhaps both at the same time. If the Start of Production date is accurate, it means Mercedes-Benz Malaysia will have just over a year to sell this car until the incentives expire at the end of 2015.

We already know the new W205 C-Class – which was launched as a CBU first as a C 200 Avantgarde and C 250 Exclusive – is expected to be locally assembled, but at least now we have some kind of timeline of when the CKD version of the C-Class will be rolling out of the plant.

2015_Volkswagen_Jetta_facelift_04

We’re not 100% sure what the Jetta GP is, but given that the URL slug for the facelifted Jetta on the Volkswagen UK website is “jetta-gp”, we reckon it should be the Jetta facelift. It’s already been sighted in Malaysia a couple of times, though those units are probably CBU cars brought in for evaluation purposes.

We contacted VGM to clarify if “Jetta GP” referred to a facelift and the official response is that there are no plans to facelift the Jetta CKD at the moment. Anyway, there are currently some promotions going on for the pre-facelift CKD Jetta if you’re interested.

Of course, we should assume that this information is subject to change and are only accurate up to the date that the annual report was published. You know that term – best effort basis?

But while the dates may move around, the car themselves should be coming, since there’s some lead time required in CKD planning and the mentioned Start of Production dates are very close now.