How likely is a cheaper, locally-assembled (CKD) Toyota RAV4 for Malaysia?

Hans/Jun 18, 2020 12:23 AM

The Toyota RAV4 is now available at Toyota showrooms across Malaysia, priced from RM 196,436 to RM 215,664 during this 6-month sales tax exemption period. After 31-December 2020, prices will increase to RM 203,880 and RM 223,880 respectively, when the 10 percent sales tax is reinstated.

Price is valid only until 31-Dec 2020

In any case, the imported from Japan Toyota RAV4 is priced out of the competition by a big margin. Its locally-assembled rivals like the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 tops out at RM 175,900 and RM 181,660 respectively (with 10% sales tax). The latter is the stonking 230 PS/420 Nm CX-5 Turbo.

The Toyota RAV4 is actually RM 8,000 cheaper than the Honda CR-V in tax-free Langkawi but once you load it up with all the applicable taxes for an imported SUV, prices will balloon to be close enough to rival a BMW X1 (RM 233,800, with 10% sales tax).

So, will there a locally-assembled Toyota RAV4? The simple answer is no, and the reason is very simple.

None of UMW Toyota Motor’s assembly plants are equipped to assemble TNGA-K platform, which the Toyota RAV4 uses.

Although the Toyota RAV4 competes in the so-called C-segment SUV range that’s populated by the Proton X70, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Nissan X-Trail, and Subaru Forester, the RAV4 is underpinned by the TNGA-K platform used by the D-segment Toyota Camry.

It also explains why the D-segment Camry platform Toyota RAV4 rides so much more comfortable and handles so much better than the C-segment Civic platform Honda CR-V.

UMW Toyota Motor’s vehicle assembly subsidiary Assembly Services Sdn. Bhd (ASSB). currently has two plants.

The Shah Alam plant currently only makes ladder frame-chassis vehicles like the IMV platform trio -Toyota Hilux, Toyota Innova, Toyota Fortuner - plus the Toyota Hiace.

The Bukit Raja plant makes small passenger cars. Currently it only makes the Toyota Vios and Toyota Yaris. At least one more model will be produced there, but we are pretty sure it’s not the RAV4. The forthcoming TNGA-C platform (but with torsion beam rear suspension) Toyota Corolla Cross is a more likely candidate.

The TNGA-K platform is a very sophisticated platform and requires more complex processes and tools to produce, and the Bukit Raja plant is not equipped to that level.

It’s also the reason why the current TNGA-K platform Toyota Camry has to be imported from Thailand. The previous generation Toyota Camry was assembled in Shah Alam.

So in short, sorry there’s not going to be a cheaper locally-assembled CKD Toyota RAV4.