Kia to be Bermaz volume brand with Sportage to be volume seller; Mazda to go upmarket with new models

Kia to be Bermaz volume brand with Sportage to be volume seller; Mazda to go upmarket with new models

As Bermaz Auto prepares for the Malaysian launch of Chinese brand Xpeng, the company is aiming for two other brands under its umbrella, Kia and Mazda to occupy different segments of the passenger vehicle market.

According to Bermaz Auto group CEO Datuk Francis Lee Kok Chuan, he believes that Kia will be the “new work horse” brand for the group’s growth in the next two to three years, taking the place of Mazda in the mainstream segment as the Japanese brand in the group’s portfolio moves upmarket to a more premium segment, reported The Edge Malaysia.

“Kia’s Asia-Pacific office is based in KL and they want to make the Asean project work because they are already good everywhere, except in Asean and China. So, now, they are putting a lot of emphasis on the Asean market,” Lee told the publication.

The Kia Sorento SUV and Kia Carnival MPV sold in the Malaysian market are locally assembled (CKD) models, assembled in the Inokom plant in Kulim, Kedah.

The fourth-generation Sorento was launched locally in March 2023, priced from RM211,498, while the Carnival was launched in this market in February this year starting from RM199k for the 11-seater, up to RM246k for the eight-seater and RM260k for the seven-seater.

Bolstering the volume push by Kia is the fifth-generation Sportage, which will also be assembled at the Inokom plant in Kulim. Bermaz aims to sell 4,000 to 5,000 units of the Sportage annually, reported The Edge Malaysia. The Sportage is set to be a key volume generator for Bermaz, as Mazda goes further upmarket. “The Sportage is selling very well worldwide. In fact, they don’t have CBU (completely built up) cars for us to bring in,” group CEO Lee said.

The intended upmarket drive for Mazda under Bermaz points to models such as the CX-60, which is the brand’s first model to be built on the manufacturer’s Skyactiv Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture that brings a longitudinal-front-engine layout and rear-wheel drive, along with mild-hybrid and PHEV electrification.

Should the CX-60 enter the Malaysian market, this would likely get even higher price positioning. Currently in Malaysia, the largest SUV in the range, the CX-9 is priced from RM328,000 according to the Mazda Malaysia website. In Indonesia, the CX-60 was launched at 1.1888 billion rupiah, or about RM358k in the exchange rate at the time. Other Asean markets which have already received the CX-60 are the Philippines and Singapore.

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Mick Chan

Open roads and closed circuits hold great allure for Mick Chan. Driving heaven to him is exercising a playful chassis on twisty paths; prizes ergonomics and involvement over gadgetry. Spent three years at a motoring newspaper and short stint with a magazine prior to joining this website.



  • ROTI CANAI on Jul 03, 2024 at 6:59 pm

    go upmarket, mabuk ah? being upmarket doesnt mean increasing your prices. anyway now got tesla got byd bye bye bermaz

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 4
  • Ajibkor,Hamidikor Anwarkor, (AHA) on Jul 03, 2024 at 7:26 pm

    KIA in Bolehland is going places,since Bermaz took over from the failed Naza dudes.
    People in Bermaz know their target market segments.
    Perhaps,laggard Tan Chong needs to buck up,if not one fine day,Bermaz will also swallow the Nissan distributorship.
    Bermaz…Meritocracy works.Walk tall without tongkats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4
    • LimKor,TanKor, TonKor on Jul 04, 2024 at 10:36 am

      Your Idol, YTL, Berjaya, Genting also use a lot of tongkat. Worser than the Kardashians, puikk

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Wait until neck very long on Jul 03, 2024 at 9:48 pm

    Stop talking and action please. Have been waited for new version of kia sportage since 2022 til 2024. Dunno will wait until next gen kia sportage come out in Korea then bermaz only launch in Malaysia.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • munkay on Jul 03, 2024 at 11:30 pm

    So expensive, how to move volume? Kurang Intelligence Ah?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  • Peppa on Jul 03, 2024 at 11:55 pm

    Francis Lee KOK SMALL can go kill himself with his stupidity. Seriously, fck you francis

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • BelowMarket on Jul 04, 2024 at 8:41 am

    upmarket what if cannot sell lol. still living in their own bubble la this fellas.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  • Ben Yap on Jul 04, 2024 at 10:09 am

    mazda wants to go upmarket. u think u r lexus ar? no one is going to pay a lot more for a mazda when people view it the same level as toyota and honda.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

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