Volvo Cars plans to assemble its all-electric XC40 Recharge in Malaysia later this year. In addition to the local market, the electric car from Malaysia will also be exported to other Southeast Asian markets.
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Volvo Car Malaysia will manufacture the electric model at its plant in Shah Alam, Selangor state, and plans to launch another locally assembled electric model every year after the XC40 Recharge.
The assembly will not be full production, including a body shop and paint shop, but a so-called “completely knocked down” production. Geely’s Volvo has long assembled vehicles in Malaysia, where local regulations and conditions discourage full imports. The assembly is a Semi Knocked Down (SKD) operations where painted bodies, and parts sourced from Europe, China and Malaysia are assembled at the Shah Alam plant.
Volvo Car Malaysia managing director Charles Frump said his company was ready to implement the automaker’s global plan for a fully electric line by 2030. This will begin with the launch of the XC40 Recharge BEV. “The [launch] is just one of our many steps to encourage consumers to adopt EVs for a more sustainable future,” he added.
Volvo has not yet revealed how many units Volvo Car Malaysia plans to produce for its own market and for export. However, the importer does not have much choice but to focus on electric vehicles: Volvo is known to want to sell only battery-electric cars from 2030.
According to Business Today, Malaysia is the third-largest automotive market in ASEAN with currently 28 manufacturing and assembly plants in Malaysia producing motor vehicles (passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, and scooters) as well as automotive parts and components. Back in early 2019, Malaysia launched serial production of cylindrical battery cells in the 18650 format for electric vehicles and stationary applications.
The production of the first locally assembled EV by Volvo Car Malaysia is meant to be the catalyst to advance the automotive industry in line with the NAP 2020 and propel Malaysia to become a hub for EV in the ASEAN region.
Update 19 October 2022
Volvo is pushing ahead with its expansion in the region: After announcing plans to assemble the XC40 Recharge in India a few months after Malaysia, the Swedish company has now started production there. The first unit of the XC40 Recharge assembled there has now rolled off the line at the Hoskote plant near Bengaluru. CKD production is scheduled to start in Malaysia later this year.
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