Last week, The Edge Weekly published a surprise report saying that Porsche is setting up a CKD assembly plant in Malaysia. The news invariably conjures up images of Boxsters, Caymans and 911s on the cheap, but an article by Maybank Investment Bank Research has poured cold water on those dreams.

Instead, Zuffenhausen is reportedly planning to build the Macan and Cayenne SUVs here. No details beyond that, but expect only the base models to be locally assembled, given that Malaysia is such a price-sensitive market – no GTS or Turbo models, I’m afraid. The two models are built in Leipzig, Germany and Bratislava, Slovakia respectively, so expect a significant price drop for the CKD models.

Currently priced from RM439,351, the entry-level Macan is powered by a EA888 2.0 litre turbo four-cylinder engine from the Volkswagen Golf GTI, producing 252 PS and 370 Nm of torque. The Cayenne, on the other hand, gets a 3.0 litre V6 churning out 340 PS and 450 Nm; it retails starting at RM665,000. Local assembly could mean the Macan dips under the RM400,000 mark, which would be unheard of for a Porsche.

That’s not all – local assembly would also unlock significant tax exemptions for hybrid vehicles, which could open the door to CKD plug-in hybrid Porsches. The Cayenne E-Hybrid adds a 136 PS electric motor to boost outputs to 462 PS and 700 Nm of torque, while a 17.9 kWh lithium-ion battery enables an all-electric range of 48 km. A CKD version could enable the car to be priced competitively against the Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine and BMW X5 xDrive45e while offering more performance than both – an incredible proposition.

According to the Edge report, Porsche will be working with Inokom to set up a new plant at the latter’s complex in Kulim, Kedah. That’s to be expected, given that Inokom is a subsidiary of Sime Darby Motors, which also owns Porsche distributor Sime Darby Auto Performance. The report also states that Malaysia will be made Porsche’s ASEAN hub, implying that exports to other Southeast Asian countries are part of the plan.