SPYSHOTS: Opel Mokka, Citroën C4 in Malaysia – Stellantis to introduce new brands with CKD models?

The ink has barely dried on Stellantis’ announcement that it has taken full control of Naza’s Gurun plant, but the automotive behemoth already looks to be making moves in Malaysia. Reader Fahmie has spotted two very unfamiliar (to us) vehicles from the group, both fitted with Kedah trade plates.

The white SUV, which sports a funky design with slim L-shaped taillights, black roof and orange accent trim, is the new Opel Mokka that was revealed globally in June last year. The distinctive black crossover in front of it wears a slightly more recognisable badge, not that you can see it from these pictures – it’s the new Citroën C4, shown to the world just a month after the Opel in July 2020.

Of course, this is not the first time a Citroën has been spotted on our roads recently, with readers having also sent spyshots of the C3 as well as the DS 3 Crossback and DS 9 sedan from premium spin-off brand DS Automobiles. It is, however, the first time an Opel is making an appearance here, the brand making a surprise return since it last sold vehicles in Malaysia in the early 2000s.

The sighting of the two cars is interesting to say the least, given there are no distributors appointed for the brands here – Bermaz Auto Alliance’s (BAASB) current deal with Citroën only covers parts and aftersales support, while Naza Euro Motors ceased sales of Citroën (and DS) models last year. Could Stellantis be lining up a reintroduction of the two brands in Malaysia under new management?

SPYSHOTS: Opel Mokka, Citroën C4 in Malaysia – Stellantis to introduce new brands with CKD models?

Firstly, it’s important to take these images with a pinch of salt, given that there have been several vehicles from the group that have been spotted undergoing testing in Malaysia but have yet to be launched – including niche vehicles that make little sense to be sold here (like the DS 9).

One possible explanation is that Stellantis is either using the country as a new hot-weather testing venue (unlikely, given that these cars have already gone on sale in other markets and thus already completed their testing) or simply getting data for as-yet-unknown reasons.

The other more exciting prospect is that the company is actually planning to bring these models in, utilising inherent economies of scale to keep costs low. All these cars are based on the Efficient Modular Platform (EMP), with the Mokka and C4 built on the smaller EMP1 variant that also underpins the soon-to-be-launched Peugeot 2008. They share the same technologies, mechanicals and engines, which will not only allow them to be priced competitively but also make maintenance and repairs a simpler affair.

One factor that may tip the scales in Malaysia’s favour is the government’s proposal to eliminate all taxes on electric vehicles, which will make zero-emission versions of these cars more financially viable – research reports have already indicated Bermaz’s desire to add more electrified vehicles to its stable. Both the Mokka and C4 are available as battery electric vehicles (BEV), although the presence of exhaust pipes on these prototypes mean that they are powered by internal combustion engines.

Even if they’re not destined for the Malaysian market, Gurun’s new status as Stellantis’ ASEAN production hub means the cars could be assembled here for other countries, taking advantage of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA). This is the likeliest of the three options, given Bermaz already has its hands full with its new Peugeot and Kia franchises and probably isn’t interested in handling other brands.

Over to you now – would you like to see new models from Stellantis being introduced here? Sound off in the comments section after the jump.