A year after originally envisioned, BMW Group Malaysia is finally exporting CKD locally-assembled vehicles to the Philippines, as reported by AutoIndustriya.com.

During a test drive of the G30 520i Luxury in the archipelago, the publication discovered documentation in the glovebox proving that the car was built in Kulim, Kedah – a fact confirmed by the president of Philippine distributor SMC Asia Car (SMAC), Spencer Yu. The importation of Malaysian-assembled cars leverages the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) agreement, as the resulting lower import duties lead to better pricing.

“There is indeed a cost advantage on acquiring vehicles from Malaysia like the BMW 520i Luxury,” said Yu. “Taking into consideration critical factors such as production and shipping costs, we are able to realize marginal savings. SMAC then passes on these savings to the customer allowing us to have the most competitive products in the segment.”

Those savings are fairly substantial – while the 520i Luxury will be priced at “around 4.5 million pesos” (RM370,000), BMW’s participation in the upcoming SEA Games in the Philippines has allowed the company to offer limited units of the car at 3.99 million pesos (RM328,500). That’s a whopping one million pesos (RM82,200) less than the diesel-powered 520d.

Yu reassured buyers that the cars are built to the same quality standard here as they are in Germany. “Filipinos may expect that BMW vehicles assembled in Malaysia are engineered in true BMW fashion, by a team of experts appointed by our executive office in Germany. This means that our discerning buyers may now purchase the best of BMW with the best value,” he said.

The executive added that SMAC was “working towards that goal” of bringing in more models assembled in Malaysia, which include the 1 Series, 3 Series, 6 Series Gran Turismo, 7 Series, X1, X3, X4 and X5.

GALLERY: G30 BMW 520i Luxury in Malaysia