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General Motors ties up with Malaysian firm to make Chevrolets for ASEAN market

General Motors ties up with Malaysian firm to make Chevrolets for ASEAN market

A unit of U.S. automaker General Motors Corp. tied up with Malaysian conglomerate DRB-HICOM Bhd. Tuesday to explore making Chevrolet cars for Southeast Asia's booming market.
Under the pact, the companies will "explore the establishment of a local vehicle assembly program as well as a manufacturing hub for the production of Chevrolet vehicles, parts and accessories" to be sold in the 10 countries making up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, they said in a joint statement.
General Motors Asia Pacific Holdings LLC will hold a 51 percent stake and DRB-HICOM the remaining 49 percent in the joint venture, which is expected to begin operations in October, the statement said.
"As the largest market for passenger cars in Southeast Asia and a key member of the ASEAN community, Malaysia is a country in which GM believes we must have a major presence," said Steve Carlisle, president of GM's Southeast Asia operations.
No further details were available. Company officials couldn't be immediately reached for comments.
DRB-HICOM is already the distributor of GM vehicles in Malaysia.
After signing the joint venture, the two companies launched the Chevrolet Aveo, a 1400cc sedan aimed at capturing the young executive market. A basic model costs 69,888 ringgit (US$19,968, euro14,620).
General Motors has expressed interest in an alliance with Malaysian national carmaker Proton, which is actively in talks with Germany's Volkswagen AG as it searches for a foreign partner to turn it around.
Volkswagen is seen as the front-runner in the Proton bid, but some officials have previously said GM may partner DRB-HICOM to boost its chances.
Gaining a stake in Proton could help GM _ which already has operations in Thailand, South Korea, India and China _ consolidate its position as a key player in Asia's booming automotive market, analysts have said.
ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam and comprises a community of 550 million people.


Updated : 2021-05-09 14:24 GMT+08:00