Chery partners Inokom, makes Malaysia its ASEAN hub – RHD R&D centre, exports to Australia

Chery partners Inokom, makes Malaysia its ASEAN hub – RHD R&D centre, exports to Australia

At today’s Malaysia Autoshow 2023 media day, Chery officiated its partnership with Inokom for CKD local assembly at the latter’s 200-acre facility in Kulim. The first two Chery models that will roll out of the Kedah plant are the Omoda 5 and Tiggo 8 Pro SUVs.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Inokom. With nearly three decades of experience in assembling vehicles of many world-renowned brands, Inokom is an ideal partner for Chery in our mission to take root in Malaysia and provide Malaysian consumers with high-technology and high-quality vehicles that are ahead of the curve in terms of design,” said Chery Malaysia country director Leo Chen.

Chen also announced that Malaysia will be the Chinese carmaker’s production hub in ASEAN, despite the fact that it also has local assembly in Indonesia. Products from Kulim will be exported to countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam and as far as Australia. All of the above-mentioned countries are right-hand drive markets, except Vietnam.

Chery’s Malaysia chief also revealed the company’s plans to set up an R&D centre for right-hand drive products, which will encompass regional testing, training and parts distribution. The initial models to be assembled in Malaysia will be ICE-powered, but local manufacturing of plug-in hybrids and full EVs are on the cards.

“As we have done successfully in many other markets, Chery is determined to localise its operations in Malaysia as far as possible. We believe this will bring us closer to Malaysian consumers to fully understand their needs and wants, not to mention contribute economically to the nation through technology transfer as well as the creation of jobs and strategic opportunities,” Chen said.

“We are also accelerating all other aspects of our localisation strategy, including recruiting top Malaysian talents in areas such as product, sales, after-sales, branding and marketing, and of course through our dealership network – we target to launch with no fewer than 30 dealers covering all major cities nationwide,” he added.

We’ve covered Chery’s return to Malaysia extensively and you can click on these links to learn more about the boldly-styled Omoda 5 1.5T B-segment SUV and the larger and more upmarket Tiggo 8 Pro 2.0T seven-seater SUV. Both will be officially launched in end-June or early-July. Also, the Omoda 5 EV will arrive by year end, while PHEVs are set to reach our shores early next year.

GALLERY: Chery Omoda 5 in Malaysia

GALLERY: Chery Tiggo 8 Pro in Malaysia

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Danny Tan

Danny Tan loves driving as much as he loves a certain herbal meat soup, and sweet engine music as much as drum beats. He has been in the auto industry since 2006, previously filling the pages of two motoring magazines before joining this website. Enjoys detailing the experience more than the technical details.



  • Purely speculative: Indonesia assembly could be just SKD while Malaysia will be CKD hence Malaysia set as ASEAN hub.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
    • Indonesia is the leader of Asean.

      China will only talk to Indonesia first.

      simple, malaysians have a big mouth, but no money nor population to support it.

      the next few decades, Malaysia is actually competing with Indonesia to get China investment.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 12
      • Pocoyo on May 04, 2023 at 11:23 am

        Indonesia is welcome to serve china. We have several investments from the west. Anyhow, since when does Malaysians have a big mouth? Which Malaysia you are referring to?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 8
    • Donno on May 05, 2023 at 10:04 am

      For automotive industry

      The main advantage of malaysia is multiple decades worth of human talent in automotive engineering, both in principal R&D / testing , and component supplier level

      Something even Indonesia does not have.

      This is what companies such as Chery, and also others like Daihatsu and Geely are tapping into.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
    • Rakyat Malaysia on May 05, 2023 at 10:31 am

      Tenkiu Azminkor for the spark to bringing more investments. Plus got Porsche & VW GTI, we could have been Asean hub if he had remained. Now what is current minister doing hah?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  • BringBackOldProton on May 04, 2023 at 9:06 am

    Essentially what Geely does with Proton but with actual export ambitions???

    Can just change Proton to Geely (M) at this rate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 10
    • until today you dont understand what is Proton and what is Malaysia?

      what do you want really?

      You want China to give you everything, then you can continue with your attitude’ HAR HAR HAR China b0d0′ ?

      you failed, your country failed, your proton failed.

      a failed person doesnt get to choose.

      your proton is begging for buyer to take over.

      accept it.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 14
      • Pocoyo on May 04, 2023 at 11:25 am

        You must be our beloved neighbour indonesian. Sounds and act so much like one

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 17
        • Wow racist!! From that statement we know he is from where but not Indonesia

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2
  • enticement on May 04, 2023 at 1:51 pm

    Recently, many car companies from China making big moves in ASEAN market. Most are banking on China’s head-start in EV race. Because China market is slowing down, they are looking to export more. ASEAN market is dominated by Japan, but EV space is still anyone’s game. The question is not the product, rather the commitment of these upstart China car companies. Some are barely even 10 years old.

    Meanwhile, the Japanese car companies have invested in ASEAN for the long term, since 1950s. They did not pack up and leave during economic crisis in late 70s, mid-80s, 97/98, 2008 and 2020. During that time, European, American, Korean and older China car companies (including Chery and Geely) have come and gone in ASEAN. Some keep coming and going, with different management.

    There is reason why Japanese car has highest RV and relevance in most ASEAN markets. It doesn’t matter if the product is not latest tech, because most ASEAN driver just want a car that is affordable to run, maintain and minimum headache (reliable). Any problem, service center got nationwide coverage. Parts easy to find and affordable. Can you say the same for others ? After 10-15 years, most non-Japanese car become worthless in ASEAN because not practical to maintain.

    How to know if these China car companies are committed or not ? Or just sweet talk as before ? Better to just wait and buy Japan EV.

    Last time, 2006 or 2008… Chery also got launch in Malaysia. CKD in Johor and planning export hub to ASEAN. After 10 years, pupus already… now masuk again with overpriced SUV trend. Hopefully don’t pupus again in 2033 ya.. Good luck Chery.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5
    • Autodriver on May 05, 2023 at 10:20 am

      Not confidence to say all China carmakers are reliable or able to commit for long run. But there are few at least are reputable and able to last long definitely such as BYD (largest car producer in China, just surpassed VW for China market), Geely (aka Proton), GWM and Chery.

      In term of EV that is about China who leading the world by car sales and also most China carmaker commit EV earlier than Japanese. When talk about RV almost all EV cars have no resales value because battery technology change every few years. This will cause the RV drop tremedously regardless brands and origin. Japanese however is more keen to embraced hybrid or fuel cell. Japanese brands do have EV but not many models and also not fully committed yet which make them left behind of China, European and Korean carmakers.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

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