Published on February 6th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair


Is Porsche Thinking About Assembling Cars In Malaysia?

Could Porsche’s first plant outside Germany be right here in Kedah?

Here’s a strange piece of news – apparently, Porsche AG is looking into setting up an assembly plant in Malaysia! This was first reported by The Edge and later picked up by outlets like FMT. According to the report, Porsche will be partnering with Inokom for this CKD operation.

This would make sense, as Inokom is a part of Sime Darby Motors and Porsche’s official representative in Malaysia is Sime Darby Auto Performance. Inokom is experienced with assembling vehicles from other brands, including Mazda, BMW and MINI. They’ve also been assembling Hyundai vehicles in Malaysia, but given the investment, Hyundai has put into Indonesia, this could be a brand that slowly disappears from their CKD roster in the coming years.

Without even considering how much more inexpensive Porsches could get in the country, this is exciting news for many other reasons.

Porsches Are Built To A Higher Standard

In Malaysia, we’ve got a few premium marques being locally-assembled. Volvo Cars were one of the first to open an assembly plant in Malaysia many, many years ago in Shah Alam. Mercedes-Benz, BMW and MINI also have conducted CKD operations in the country for some time. As ‘premium’ as these brands are, they pale in comparison to Porsche.

Porsche build vastly more expensive vehicles on average. While they brand has moved into luxury products that are oriented toward passenger comfort in recent years, every Porsche is expected to deliver exceptional performance. That translates to more complex powertrains, tighter tolerances all-around.

BHP diesel

If Porsche does start assembling cars here, they’d be to a higher standard than anything else ever made here. And yes, we’re counting the S-Class and 7-Series.

Inokom Have Experience With Electrified Powertrains

Porsche are quite clearly looking to make some moves in the electric car market. Over the years, they’ve been electrifying many of their passenger-oriented models, like the Panamera and Cayenne. These E-Hybrid cars were just the tip of the iceberg. Just last year, they launched the all-electric Taycan in Malaysia. Apparently, the number of orders have been quite encouraging for these models too.

Porsche Taycan At Ara Damansara

Inokom have been assembling some very complicated hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles for brands like Hyundai, BMW and MINI. Cars like the Hyundai IONIQ, BMW 330e, 530e, X5 xDrive40e, MINI Cooper S E Countryman all feature electrified drivetrains and they’re all put together by Inokom. Should Porsche secure some nice tax incentives from the government, it’s conceivable it would be profitable to set up some form of local assembly here.

Malaysia never really got a proper channel for Tesla owners to buy cars. As a result, the number of Model S sedans on the road are pretty sparse. There’s clearly some demand here, but the support structure and charging grid is just not robust enough. Maybe the Taycan could satisfy this niche.

Sime Darby Auto Performance Isn’t Denying This

Another exciting thing to think about is that Sime Darby Auto Performance still haven’t denied (nor confirmed) this piece of news. While that shouldn’t tell you much, we also have a quote from a representative, who said:

“We have other interesting developments such as growing the EV market and it’s infrastructure in Malaysia”.

Could this mean Porsche are looking at helping to expand the availability of charging stations in the country regardless of whether they conduct CKD operations? Well, it’s definitely exciting to think about, at the very least.

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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