MALAYSIA: BMW starts assembling Mini Countryman
Add Malaysia to the list of countries where BMW's Mini is assembled.
BMWs have been assembled in Malaysia for decades and the group unit there is now building the Mini Countryman from kits. Importing the car completely knocked down (CKD) results in retail prices cheaper by up to 30%.
Local CEO Gerhard Pils told the New Straits Times production of the Cooper and the ALL4 variant marked a milestone in BMW's 10 years of operations in Malaysia. Previously, its cars were imported and assembled by independent companies.
Pils claimed the CKD Countryman, with up to 40% local content, was on par with imported units from Austria.
The Countryman was introduced, built up, to Malaysia in March 2011.
"The assembly of the new Mini Countryman provides the transfer of superior quality assembly line technology, practices and standards to Malaysia," said Pils.
"The locally assembled Mini Countryman is indistinguishable in all aspects from the imported versions.
"Our aim is to optimise its supply to customers in Malaysia while reducing the cost of ownership value, waiting time and spare parts."
The plant, opened in 2008, also builds BMW's 3 and 5 Series alongside the X1 and X3 SUVs.
Pils said the plant, with over 400 workers, had assembled over 12,000 units to date.
More BMW models would follow. Plant capacity is up to 40 units daily. One of the two production lines was dedicated to the Countryman.
Pils said BMW Malaysia had delivered about 3,000 vehicles in the first five months of 2013.