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Tan Chong Motor’s state-of-the-art Serendah plant in Selangor became the first assembly plant in the country when it began assembling the country’s first hybrid multipurpose vehicle, the new Serena S-Hybrid.
For this, the company has invested some RM60 million into the facility to expand the Body and Assembly shops with Nissan Standard Line B Line, and Trim & Chassis B Line respectively.
The investment figure includes investing in new assembly lines, supporting local part vendors and creating new employment opportunities.
“Of course, in doing so, we have also taken stringent steps to ensure that local production meets Nissan’s global quality standards and requirements,” said Edaran Tan Chong Motor’s (ETCM) Marketing and Product Planning Director Tan Keng Meng in a recent interview with The Rakyat Post.
“It is not only the first hybrid MPV to be locally assembled but is also the first locally-assembled Nissan S-Hybrid out of Japan,” he added.
The plant currently assembles the Almera, X-Trail, Grand Livina, X-Gear, the new Teana and the new Serena S-Hybrid (Facelift) and operates at almost full capacity of producing 45,000 vehicles annually.
The plant is more than 60 per cent bigger in land size, built up area and workforce than the facility in Segambut.
On plans of more hybrid vehicles to join the Serena S-Hybrid, he said ETCM was looking at future local hybrid production to capitalise on the Government incentives on Energy Efficient Vehicles (EEV) under the National Automotive Police (NAP) announced earlier this year.
“But all plans are still undergoing study,” said Tan.
He said although the state-of-the-art assembly plant in Serendah remains the main production facility for the company, the Segambut plant still very much played a key role in its business operations.
“Segambut is obviously iconic for the Tan Chong business. We are always studying for ways to optimise the utilisation of both plants in order to achieve economies of scale and enhance our operational effectiveness and efficiency.
“Whatever decision that the Group makes in the future will definitely take all this into consideration.”
The Group’s vehicles sales enjoyed a market share of 12.1 per cent for non-national cars and 6.4 per cent for the industry-wide market as of September 2014.
There has been recent speculation that the assembly plant in Segambut is a property gold mine and talks are rife that the Group was mulling the development or sale of the land, which analysts estimate to cost up to RM700 million.
The plant began operations in 1976 with the first roll out of a Datsun and a year later, the plant started assembling trucks and buses. Currently, it assembles the Nissan Navara pick up truck.
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