Porsche Cayenne CKD – 1st unit rolls off Sime Darby’s assembly facility in Kulim, Kedah; priced from RM550k

Remember the Porsche Cayenne CKD announcement from last year? Well, the first ever locally-assembled unit has just rolled off the production line at Sime Darby’s assembly plant in Kulim, Kedah.

It’s a historic moment, because this is the first assembly facility for Porsche outside of Europe. According to the firms, the CKD operation is meant to serve only the local market, and the quality control processes are identical to the automaker’s mother plant. The base Cayenne is currently the only model being produced locally, and it is built up to snuff.

During the press conference, Sime Darby Motors managing director Andrew Basham said other variants of the Cayenne will remain as CBU units, though the plant can be scaled up to produce other variants or other models should there be demand. This won’t be anytime soon, but it’s a possibility. Porsche AG board member for sales and marketing, Detlev von Platen said “we must learn to walk before we run” while hinting at further plans, including ASEAN exports.

Construction of the plant began in December 2020, using an existing warehouse as a base before turning it into a high-tech facility. It’s 100% staffed with Malaysians who have been comprehensively trained by Porsche, with production being supported by a network of local suppliers and service providers. Six key modules are sourced locally – centre console and cockpit (Clarion), front and rear axles (ZF), and the front end module assembly.

Porsche board member for Production and Logistics, Albrecht Reimold said: “The new assembly site in Malaysia meets specific market needs and operates alongside Porsche’s established network of production sites in Europe. It meets comprehensive quality standards set forth by Porsche when assembling Porsche sports cars,” and is also a benchmark for efficiency, quality and sustainability.

Several energy-saving measures include installing solar panels on the roof for supplemental energy, rainwater harvesting technologies, as well as thermally insulated walls to reduce energy consumption. The exterior walls are deliberately curated to match Porsche’s global manufacturing identity, and it is also the first air-conditioned plant in the country!

Based on our earlier report, the Cayenne CKD will start from RM550k, making it about RM115k cheaper than its CBU counterpart. The standard kit is also enhanced with 21-inch RS Spyder design wheels, Bose surround sound system, 14-way power-adjustable comfort seats with memory function and Park Assist with front, rear and surround views. These were all optional before.

Porsche Cayenne CKD – 1st unit rolls off Sime Darby’s assembly facility in Kulim, Kedah; priced from RM550k

The kit list also includes LED headlamps with Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS), LED taillights, four-zone climate control, Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with a 12-inch touchscreen, Porsche Connect services and Apple CarPlay integration, Porsche Advanced Cockpit, a sports steering wheel, paddle shifters, a Direct Touch Control-equipped centre console and Comfort Access.

Besides that, there’s also a specially-curated Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur option package, as well as a special Porsche Design timepiece. A range of Tequipment accessories are available, too.

Powering the SUV is a 3.0 litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine that produces 340 PS at 5,300 to 6,400 rpm and 450 Nm of torque at 1,340 to 5,300 rpm. An eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission is standard, sending drive to all four wheels via an active AWD system.

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