Peugeot SUV to be assembled in Gurun

By AFIQ AZIZ / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

NAZA Automotive Manufacturing Sdn Bhd’s (NAM) plant in Gurun, Kedah, is expected to assemble the new Peugeot 5008 SUV and the 3008 SUV as early as next year.

Local Peugeot sole distributor Nasim Sdn Bhd CEO Yasser Awan said the parent company, Naza Corp Holdings Sdn Bhd, and NAM owner, French Groupe PSA, are currently discussing a joint-venture partnership to undertake the project.

“It will take a year, but if we can get the organisation established by the two parties at the factory, we can start working on the first few batches. The models that we plan to assemble there are the 5008 SUV and 3008 SUV,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) after the launch of the Peugeot 5008 SUV in Petaling Jaya yesterday.

However, he said the group will not rush to the assembly phase and that it will now be focused on selling the completely built-up SUV models.

Yasser said the SUV segment currently contributes 71% of the group sales volume.

Last year, Groupe PSA acquired a 56% stake in NAM as part of its aim to become the export hub for other countries in the region.

The company has forecast a production volume of 18,000 in 2019, which will be gradually increased to 21,000 units in 2020.

The partnership is also projected to generate revenue of RM724 million in 2019 and RM967 million in 2020, while providing businesses to more than 70 extra local vendors in the next five years and 1,200 jobs in Kedah.

The factory, which also assembles the Korea Kia Motor Corp brand, is currently deemed underutilised as it only produces 15,000 units of cars monthly. At its optimum capacity, the factory could produce up to 50,000 units per month.

Yasser said the group has also started discussions with local vendors who could be part of the Peugeot assembly project.

“We have to ensure that the vendors can match the standards set by the European car maker. Some of them are existing vendors in Gurun and we are also looking at the possibility of engaging new local and overseas vendors.

“We are still at the filtering stages,” Nasim senior manager of product management Muhamad Redza Azizan told TMR.

As for the sales of the 5008 SUV, Yasser said the group has targeted to push it up to 650 units this year.

Meanwhile, Naza Corp group CEO (automotive group) Datuk Samson Anand George said the SUV will be the catalyst for Nasim’s sales target of 3,600 units this year.

The seven-seater C-segment SUV, equipped with a 1.6 Turbo THP engine and boasts a fuel efficiency of 7.3 litres per 100km with a five-star rating from Euro NCAP, is priced at RM173,888 on-the-road without insurance.