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(L-R): Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) vice president, sales and marketing Michael Jopp, MBM president and chief executive officer Dr Claus Weidner, HICOM Automotive Manufacturing Malaysia chief executive officer Ismail Pandak and MBM vice president of production plant Patrick Baur.

PEKAN: Mercedes-Benz Malaysia is looking at opportunities to expand its market to other countries in the Southeast Asian region following its success in penetrating the Philippines market.

President/chief executive officer Dr Claus Weidner said, however, it depends on several factors, including feasibility aspect.

“… we can’t reveal where the focus is as we are still studying whether it is a feasible option,” he told reporters at the Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Pekan production plant’s 15th-anniversary celebration here today.

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia also celebrates a historic milestone with the roll-out of its 100,000th vehicle.

The premium automobile maker also announced it is exporting the first complete knock-down (CKD) left-hand drive Mercedes-Benz C-Class to the Philippines, beginning this month.

“This is the first factory (in Southeast Asia) to do this,” said Weidner.

Besides Malaysia, the automaker has a factory in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam that only cater to the respective markets.

“Other plants did not have the production capacity for export,” he explained.

Weidner also said that it is more feasible for Mercedes-Benz Malaysia to export to the Philippines rather than establish a plant in the country.

This is good for Malaysia because it creates job opportunities as well as an opportunity for technology transfer, he said, adding that its production facility in Pekan had undergone a technological upgrade that enables it to increase production volume.

“Last year, it had produced 10,000 CKD and the capacity can definitely be increased to more than 10,000 a year, providing us flexibility for future development in Malaysia,” said Weidner, adding that the company believes Malaysia will remain as an important market in the future.

He also said Mercedes-Benz Malaysia is looking at keeping the market share as it is still at number one position in the premium segment.

Weidner said the company had invested RM300 million since 2004 to date and Mercedes-Benz Malaysia is looking forward to the launching of National Automotive Policy 2019 next month.

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia manages the import, assembly and wholesale distribution of Mercedes-Benz vehicles and spare parts alongside customer services as well as software development for global sales solutions.

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