Kuala Lumpur: German luxury car maker Porsche will open its first plant outside Europe in Malaysia next year, officials said on Friday, seeking to meet strong demand in the Southeast Asian country.
The manufacturing site in northern Kedah state will perform final assembly of specific models for the local market, the company and Malaysian officials said.
Malaysian Commerce Minister Azmin Ali said it was a “strategic move by Porsche signifying its commitment to establish a long-term presence in” Southeast Asia.
Albrecht Reimold, board member of the Volkswagen-owned brand, said the new plant, established in collaboration with a local partner, was a “stand-alone project of modest size and capacity”.
But he added that “it signals our willingness to learn and adapt to specific local market conditions.”
Currently, Malaysians who want to buy a Porsche have to pay high tariffs for imported vehicles. Other foreign automakers have a long history of operating assembly plants in the country to serve the local market.
Malaysia has a rapidly growing middle class and has seen robust growth rates in recent years, although a severe coronavirus outbreak has hit the economy hard.