Naza Automotive Manufacturing (NAM) has started its regional export operations. The first batch of the Malaysian-made Peugeot 3008 produced at the plant in Gurun, Kedah has boarded the Philippines-bound vessel, and is expected to arrive at its destination by the end of the month.

The Peugeot 3008 for the Malaysian market is presently available in fully imported guise, as two variants – the Active THP and the top-of-range Allure THP. Both are powered by the group’s 1.6 litre THP 165 S&S turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, which produces 165 hp and 240 Nm of torque, driving the front wheels via a six-speed Aisin automatic transmission.

The Philippines is the first ASEAN country to receive NAM-produced vehicles under AFTA, said Laurence Noël, CEO of Naza Automotive Manufacturing, adding that more cars will be exported to other ASEAN countries ‘very soon’.

Groupe PSA and Naza Corporation Holdings entered into a share sale agreement and a joint venture agreement for the shared operation of the NAM plant in Gurun, making it the first manufacturing hub in the region for the French automaker. For Groupe PSA, this amounts to a stake of 56% with an undisclosed sum.

The Peugeot 3008 is the first EMP2-based model to be produced at the Gurun plant, and it will be joined by the Peugeot 5008 1.6 THP for assembly in Gurun, and together with the locally assembled 3008, will make up the plant’s projected export volume to the Philippines of over 4,000 units by 2023, said Noël. These will be left-hand-drive for the Philippines market, naturally; is a CKD 5008 in the works? Watch this space.

As of last February, the NAM plant has a workforce of 450 people and a production capacity of 50,000 units per annum. With PSA’s export activities for the region, forecast volume for NAM is 18,000 units for this year, and 21,000 units in 2020.