DCM To Sell Locally Assembled Mercedes Benz S-Class By Feb 2007
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 (Bernama) — DaimlerChrysler Malaysia Sdn Bhd (DCM), which is in the midst of assembling the Mercedes Benz S-Class range of cars at its plant in Pekan, Pahang, will start selling the cars to the local market by February next year.
“We have already produced 25 units of the locally assembled S-Class model in Pekan, and need 100 units before we launch the model into the market,” its president and chief executive officer, Datuk Frank Steinleitner, said.
“To produce another 25 units will take a month, and I think we are on track as I want to introduce the model into the local market before the Chinese New Year,” he told reporters at the signing ceremony and launch of the New Straits Times/AmBank Group “Car of the Year (COTY) 2006” Awards, here Thursday.
Also present were group editor-in-chief of New Straits Times Press Bhd, Datuk Hishamuddin Aun, AmBank (M) Bhd’s managing director for retail banking, Mohamed Azmi Mahmood and Malaysia Automotive Association’s president, Datuk Aishah Ahmad.
DCM currently assembles the E-Class and C-Class models, as well as Mitsubishi Fuso and Mercedes commercial vehicles in Pekan.
The plant, a joint project with DRB-HICOM Bhd, with a combined production capacity of 5,000 units (including passenger and commercial vehicles), currently produces about 3,000 vehicles annually.
Steinleitner said that for the S-Class’ production volume, it would be around 300-500 units annually.
Malaysia is the only country in Asia that assembles the S-Class car, said to be the most luxurious and advanced automobile produced in Malaysia.
Touching on a news report that DCM will use its Pekan plant as an assembly and export hub for the region, Steinleitner said: “We should wait until we produce our cars here first…for the market here… before considering export.”
Meanwhile, the COTY award was held to recognise the best vehicles under 11 categories based on size and function.
The first award, given out in 2002, was won by Perodua Kelisa, while Volvo XC90 was the best car in 2003, the BMW 53d in 2004 and Mercedes Benz CLS350 took the prize last year.
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