Shanghai, February 8 (Gasgoo.com) Chinese carmaker BYD Auto Company Ltd plans to team up with local company Berjaya Corporation Bhd (BCorp) to set up an auto assembly plant in Malaysia to tap overseas right-hand drive passenger car markets, Bernama reported last week.
Both companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) Thursday to develop BYD Auto's FO right-hand drive one-liter model for the Malaysian and the ASEAN markets. The collaboration is expected to promote Malaysia as a regional hub in the manufacture, assembly and distribution of Chinese vehicles.
"We hope the [Malaysian] government will be open to this idea as BYD Auto is a leading car manufacturer and this represents multiple opportunities for the local car industry," BCorp's executive director Datuk Francis Lee said at the signing ceremony held at BYD Auto's headquarters in Shenzhen.
BCorp hoped to conclude an agreement with BYD Auto by end of this year, with the investment to include a feasibility study on the conversion of the F0's left-hand drive version to right-hand drive and its related follow-up research and development, Lee said.
Lee added that initially Berjaya was looking at options to carry out contract manufacturing for BYD Auto's F0 model at local plants with excess capacity. BYD Auto's gas-powered cars, the F0 and F3, are among China's top-sellers.
The Chinese electric car maker, backed by US millionaire Warren Buffet, is now focusing on becoming the market leader in clean energy vehicles.