During the showing of the Modenas Ninja 250 at the National Automotive Policy 2020 launch, Modenas chief executive officer Roslan Roskan said during a press conference the Modenas Gurun plant is ramping up for production of Kawasaki motorcycles. With an initial investment of RM5 million, the plant is scheduled to produce 1000-plus units of the Ninja 250 in the second half of 2020.

Elaborating on production plans, Roslan said Kawasakis below 700 cc will be produced in Gurun and an announcement will be made later this year and there are eight models in the pipeline. This would mean Modenas will likely produce and rebadge the Ninja 650 sports bike and Z650 naked sports, two models currently in the Kawasaki Motors Malaysia (KMSB) catalogue, as well as the Versys 650 adventure tourer.

With a target of up to 50% Malaysian content in the Kawasaki models it will produce, Roslan said RM5 million has been initially invested in setting up of a dedicated Kawasaki production line in the Gurun facility. This includes test rigs, research and development facilities and the like.

Asked about the source of funds, Roslan told media the initial sum was raised internally with additional investment to be made in following years as necessary. Answering a question about Kawasaki’s financial contribution to the joint venture, Roslan said as a partner, there will be some contribution but did not mention any figures.

As for KMSB, having represented and built Kawasaki as a brand in Malaysia for 31 years, its role in distributing Kawasaki products locally is still in limbo. Speaking to a source inside KMSB, it was learned no decision has been made as yet as to the disposition of KMSB assets or its distribution channel due to the uncertainty concerning Kawasaki Japan’s intentions.