The thought that locally assembled cars are inferior in quality compared to their fully imported CBU counterparts run rampant in some pockets of the Malaysian society, and to them, no brands are exempted.

At the launch of the CKD Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan and GLA, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s (MBM) head of sales and marketing Michael Jopp told the press: “I don’t know where this would come from, but no, it’s very clear. The quality control systems are exactly the same in the mother plant as well as in our CKD plants.”

“I know our colleagues are doing their very best to make sure that customers won’t feel any difference between a CKD car and a CBU car,” Jopp said, adding that the assembly procedures and tolerances, as well as parts used are also the same.

Granted, the assembly operations in Pekan is run by DRB-Hicom, but Jopp explained that the guidelines for assembling Mercedes-Benz models are the same from start to finish. “Internally, this is also very openly and transparently shared between the plants,” he added.

Since CKD operations began in 2004, more than 100,000 locally-assembled Mercedes-Benz passenger cars have been produced, and a sum of over RM300 million has been invested into the plant. Today, a total of 15 Mercedes-Benz CKD models are on sale – the line-up includes the V177 A-Class Sedan, H247 GLA, W205 C-Class (C 43 included), W213 E-Class, W222 S-Class, X253 GLC (including the GLC 43 4Matic Coupe) and V167 GLE.