Minister of International Trade and Industry Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz recently held a working visit to Malaysia’s northern economic corridor states of Kedah and Penang. Among the manufacturing plans visited by the MITI minister was the Inokom plant in Kulim.
"Southeast Asia offers good growth potential and with good policies and ecosystem, Malaysia can become an automotive hub for the ASEAN market," said Zafrul in his Facebook post on Friday.
He added that this prospect has attracted investors and car companies such as Porsche, Kia, Hyundai, BMW, MINI, and Mazda to start their respective operations in Malaysia.
He also said that many skilled local residents are working at the plant and the government will focus on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to enable more people in the country to increase their skills.
A separate Facebook post by MITI also said that MITI and agencies are committed to promoting electric vehicles in Malaysia, and will provide support in promoting EV industry to foreign investors, establishing standards in EV research and development that utilizes local talents.
MITI says more than 2,100 local talents have benefited from Inokom’s automotive projects.
The Inokom plant is owned by Sime Darby Motors Sdn. Bhd. (51%), Sime Darby Hyundai Sdn. Bhd. (5%), Hyundai Motor Company of South Korea (15%), and Bermaz Auto Berhad (29%).
It is now home to BMW Group Malaysia’s vehicle assembly and engine assembly plant, exporting finished cars and engines to Thailand and the Philippines.
Mazda Malaysia, a manufacturing joint venture between Mazda Motor and Bermaz Auto, also exports Kulim-assembled Mazda CX-5 and CX-8 to Thailand and the Philippines.
Inokom is also home to the first Porsche vehicle assembly facility outside of Europe for the German marque, assembling the Cayenne.
Other models assembled in Kulim include the Kia Carnival, Kia Sorento, and Hyundai Santa Fe.