Text: Brent Co / Photos: Mazda Press | posted June 28, 2013 11:24
Assembly in Malaysia being pushed to make prices competitive
Coming at the heels of the global unveil of the new Kodo-inspired Mazda3 yesterday, Mazda Philippine distributor Berjaya Auto Philippines was quick to reveal that the new model will be released to our market sometime in 2014.
Berjaya Auto CEO Steven Tan hinted at around 'mid-2014' for the Philippine market release of the new Mazda3. We are expecting a market preview to be held as early as April at the 2014 Manila International Auto Show. Mazda Philippines will be initially importing the 2014 Mazda3 from Japan.
According to Tan, they are studying the possiblity of sourcing assembly of left-hand-drive versions of the Mazda3 and CX-5 in Malaysia to take advantage of the ASEAN free trade agreements to lower costs and make pricing more competitive for the said models. Mazda currently assembles the CX-5 and current generation Mazda3 at facility co-owned by the Berjaya Group in Malaysia for their domestic market.
Mazda Malaysia revealed in early June that it acquired an exclusive body shop from its production partner Inokom. The Japanese automaker has also begun construction of a new assembly plant in the same complex with operations expected to begin spring of 2014. Current production of the CX-5 at the Inokom facility will be transferred to the new factory. Furthermore, they are looking to increase production to 20,000 units per month which could signal a possible plan for exporting cars.