But those cars won’t come to Singapore. It’s part of the company’s Asian expansion to understand customers, which includes a permanent R&D base in China
Stuttgart, Germany – Porsche has announced an expansion into what is expected, and already is, its most important market in the world: Asia.
The German sports car company yesterday announced a new, permanent research and development facility for what is its single biggest market, China. Located in Shanghai, the facility will look into a deeper understanding of Chinese customers and ‘improve local product development’.
“Having a permanent home for this work in China will bring obvious benefits, particularly when it comes to reflecting and predicting our customer’s needs in China,” said Oliver Blume, Porsche’s chief executive.
Southeast Asia is fast becoming the new boom centre for vehicle growth too, and that importance is underscored by Porsche’s new assembly site in Malaysia, which will be located in Kedah.
Setup as a joint venture with its Malaysian distributor, Sime Darby Berhad, it will build an unspecified number of cars and Porsche models beginning in 2022.
It will allow for less expensive locally-assembled cars, since they avoid high import taxes and duties. This is known in industry parlance as CKD or ‘complete knock down’, where a car and its parts are shipped to the final location for assembly. Toyota, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and other carmakers all have CKD operations in Malaysia.
Porsche says the cars will be solely for the Malaysian market, which is no surprise as no Malaysia-assembled vehicles have made their way to Singapore in recent years.
The move could help Porsche boost its sales figures significantly in Malaysia – the brand has sold just under 400 vehicles in 2019 and 2020, with its sales remaining remarkably stable despite the COVID disruptions. In comparison, in 2020 Porsche sold 574 cars in Singapore.