New Straits Times

Go Auto, Great Wall investing RM2b to upgrade Gurun plant

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SHANGHAI: Go Auto Group of Companies (Go Auto) and its Chinese partner Great Wall Motors Co Ltd (GWM) are allocating up to RM2 billion until 2021 to upgrade its assembly and production facilities in Gurun, Kedah.

This would help strengthen Go Auto’s position as a hub of madein-China sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and energy-efficient vehicles (EEV) in Malaysia and the Asean region.

Go Auto chief executive officer Ahmad Azam Sulaiman said the investment would be raised internally, externally and through bank loans in stages in the second and third phases of the company’ developmen­t.

He said this demonstrat­ed the company’ commitment in enhancing its brand and position in the automotive market, especially in the SUV segment.

“According to our initial plan, the investment was for a period of five years until 2020, but due to the current economic situation, we are extending it until the end of 2021,” he said at the Auto Shanghai 2017, here, recently.

Ahmad Azam said so far, Go Auto had invested between RM60 million and RM70 million for Phase 1 of its production facilities in Gurun, thus strengthen­ing its brand in Malaysia.

The second phase of the developmen­t costing RM250 million was expected to be operationa­l next year or in 2019 and would be followed by the next phase.

The second phase of the developmen­t will double Go Auto’s production capacity to 50,000 units, from 24,000 a year, and help support its plan to enlarge its SUV market.

He said in the third phase, the company was expected to produce Haval vehicles with upgraded components besides developing the engine and components, and conducting vehicle testing at its own facilities.

Go Auto, which has been appointed by GWM as its sole producer and distributo­r of Haval SUVs in Malaysia and Asean, also plans to bring in 100 to 150 units of the all-new Haval H6 and Haval H9 SUVs at prices estimated from RM115,000 to RM140,000.

Both are complete built-up (CBU) models. Go Auto offers two models, namely Haval H1 SUV (formerly known as M4) at affordable prices from RM54,950 and H2 SUV from RM89,950.

“Currently, our production plant in Gurun assembles Haval H1 SUVs, and the H2 model will follow suit next month,” he said.

This year, Go Auto aims to sell 3,000 units of Haval H1 and H2 SUVs for the domestic and export markets and was confident of meeting the target.

Ahmad Azam said in line with its vision of becoming a hub for made-in-China SUVs and SUV EEVs in the Asean region, the company has been exporting SUVs to Cambodia and Brunei and would be making forays into Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar this year.

Go Auto plans to expand its wings to left-hand-drive countries like Laos, Vietnam and the Philippine­s.

Founded in 2013, Go Auto was the first company to be awarded a licence to manufactur­e energyeffi­cient vehicles by the Ministry of Internatio­nal Trade and Industry under the National Automotive Policy 2014. Bernama

 ??  ?? Go Auto Group of Companies CEO Ahmad Azam Sulaiman with a Haval
SUV.
Go Auto Group of Companies CEO Ahmad Azam Sulaiman with a Haval SUV.

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