If you’ve been passing the Cycle & Carriage Bintang (Mazda Division) showroom along the Federal Highway in Petaling Jaya in the past month, you would have noticed two white cars inside. They are the new Mazda 323 and are units brought in by the company for evaluation and local content development.
A source told AUTOWORLD.COM.MY that the company will introduce the new models in November. That is the same month as the KL International Motorshow 2000 so it wouldn’t be surprising if that venue is used for the launch.
Only 1.6-litre automatic transmission (no manual) models will be available, in both hatchback and sedan bodystyles. The price is not available yet but if you look at the current prices of the Toyota Corolla and the price of the discontinued Honda Civic, you might get an idea of what it might be. The source confirmed that assembly of the new model is already underway at AMI in Shah Alam, Selangor, and the company is in the process of submitting an application for price approval to the authorities.
C&C Bintang has been eagerly awaiting the launch of this model as it ran out of Astinas and 323s in April, about the time the Mazda Fighter was launched. The company is also thinking of selling the Tribute – the Mazda equivalent of Ford’s Escape 4WD – next year but unlike Ford Malaysia, is unlikely to have it assembled locally.