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December 13, 2021

Kia Philippines To Offer Hybrids By 2024?

Earlier this year, Kia announced plans to start assembling vehicles in Malaysia for the ASEAN market. At the time, the Korean automaker had yet to announce which particular vehicles they plan to assemble over there. Now, they have been revealed and the list is certainly interesting.

To recall, Bermaz Auto (yes, the same group that distributes Mazda for both Malaysia and the Philippines) entered into a joint-venture with Kia to form Kia Malaysia Sdn Bhd. This company will assemble Kia vehicles for the ASEAN market from the Inokom plant in Kulim, Kedah.

In a presentation made to the Malaysian press, website managed to secure some screen shots (see photos below). It shows that Kia plans to ramp up production with 6,000 units targeted for export in 2022. This number will steadily grow with 19,000 units being the planned number by 2026.

Four models will be assembled in Malaysia: the Kia Carnival, Kia Sorento, Kia Sportage, and surprisingly, the Kia Niro. The Malaysian plant plans to assemble both conventional and hybrid versions of all these models, with the Niro also offering in a fully battery electric version.

According to the timeline, the Carnival and Sorento will start Malaysian assembly in 2022 followed by the Sportage and Niro a year later.

With Kia Philippines already announcing the all-new Sorento’s arrival as a CBU from Korea, it is likely that sourcing will continue from there until the model’s refresh in 2024. Meanwhile, it’s possible that the Carnival will be sourced from Malaysia outright in time for the large MPV’s expected debut next year.

The case is probably the same with the Sportage. With the current model already being run out locally, Kia Philippines will likely have to launch it sooner rather than later. They could continue sourcing it from Korea before switching sources to Malaysia come 2023 or 2024.

It is likely that by 2024, Kia Philippines will be able beef up their electrified offerings by taking full advantage of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) and the favorable excise tax on hybrid/electric vehicles. After all, they did promise to bring in both hybrids and electric vehicles in the near term.

Are you excited for Kia?

1 comment:

  1. I'm excited if they are willing to take the hit this 2022. Meaning they will sell Korea sourced units but pricing it at as if it's sourced in Malaysia.

    Make 2022 the year to re-establish the brand, start offering better products to ensure that 2023 onwards, they will be a top 5 brand in the country.


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