Automotive conglomerate, Stellantis, has completed its acquisition of NAZA Automotive Manufacturing Sdn Bhd. This means that as of 28 October 2021, Stellantis has full ownership of the NAZA manufacturing plant in Gurun, Kedah. Previously, Groupe PSA held a majority stake in the facility as part of a joint venture with NAZA Corporation. Subsequently, PSA had merged with Fiat Chrysler to form Stellantis.
This acquisition represents an important milestone for Stellantis and also solidifies its commitment to Malaysia, and Southeast Asia. The company has plans to invest and dramatically expand its presence as part of a robust localisation strategy.
“Stellantis is deeply committed to growing our presence in ASEAN, and taking full ownership and responsibility of the plant in Gurun, Kedah is a very important step towards strengthening our operations, production outputs and workforce in the region,” said Christophe Musy, Senior Vice President, ASEAN & General Distributors at Stellantis.
With the Gurun production facility, Stellantis would be able to extend its brand and model offerings to the ASEAN region. The Stellantis brand portfolio includes Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroën, Dodge, DS, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Opel, Peugeot, Ram and Vauxhall.
Stellantis had recently restarted manufacturing activity in Gurun, with the launch of the refreshed Peugeot 3008 and 5008 currently rolling out across the region. Further, the much-anticipated Peugeot 2008 is set to commence production this month in Gurun, bringing to the ASEAN region a new compact SUV offering.
“We are focused on our mission to achieve world-class manufacturing in Gurun, to build high-quality, Malaysian-produced vehicles for Southeast Asia,” said Mr Musy. “This includes the internationally-acclaimed refreshed 3008 and 5008 updates and the new Peugeot 2008, three vehicles that will elevate the superior offering of the Peugeot brand in this region”.
The Gurun plant has achieved pre-pandemic production rates since it restarted operations, with volumes now ramping up for the remainder of 2021, to re-establish car flow to Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and other ASEAN markets. Over 170 employees have returned to work and Stellantis is working with over 50 local suppliers as production increases for the last quarter of 2021.
“In spite of the pandemic we are extremely proud to see increased customer demand for Peugeot in the region,” added Mr Musy. “We are working closely with our partners to increase plant capacity by almost 40% to meet demand, and this combined with our strong product plan and determination to achieve the highest standards in quality and safety has set us up for great success in Malaysia”.
Since reopening the plant, Stellantis has strictly enforced safety protocols advised by Malaysian authorities in addition to internally mandated procedures. Mandatory masks and face shields are provided to employees, with daily temperature checks, ventilation measures, social distancing protocols and ongoing training and communication of COVID-19 prevention measures mandated on site.