By Yamin Vong and Tony Yew
An experienced motor industry group with ample capabilities to assemble cars locally has been awarded the franchise to import and distribute Ssangyong vehicles in Malaysia. It is expected that the candidate will start assembly of the Tivoli which featured in last year’s New York auto Show and the SUV will be sold in petrol and diesel versions, said industry sources close to the negotiations.
The SUV will be locally assembled in the north and should be ready for market by November, they said.
The appointment of a new franchise holder will address a major concern of Ssangyong motor vehicle owners in Malaysia following the closure of the main dealership in Petaling Jaya, Competitive Supreme, which operated the service centre in Jalan 222, Petaling Jaya.
One customer, William Kok, bought himself a Ssangyong Actyon and was frustrated when he found out about the closure prompting him to ask about the fate of his car warranty.
Since taking control of Ssangyong, talk is plenty about how Mahindra will use Ssangyong as a vehicle to shore up business in Malaysia. By appointing an experienced partner, Ssangyong seems to have sorted out plans on how to leverage on the local partner to market AFTA compliant products in the ASEAN region.
The new Ssangyong HQ is likely to be located in Glenmarie, Shah Alam alongside the showrooms of Bermaz Mazda, Cycle & Carriage/Mercedes-Benz,Volvo, Porsche, Lamborghini, Jeep, Peugeot and Auto Bavaria BMW.