The New Sime Darby Auto Engineering Engine Assembly Facility for BMW engines in Kulim.

BMW Group Malaysia and Sime Darby Auto Engineering (SDAE) have launched the RM132 million SDAE Engine Assembly Facility in Kulim, Kedah.

Sitting on a 2.43ha plot and with a built-up 8,500 sqm, the new facility will support growing demand for locally assembled BMW vehicles and the premium carmaker’s exports to regional markets.

“Together with SDAE, we managed to establish a new engine assembly for BMW engines in Malaysia. Our strong cooperation with our reliable partner comes to fruition with the assembly of the three- and four-cylinder petrol engines, alongside with the four-cylinder diesel engines, as well as the three- and four-cylinder combustion engines for the Plug-In Hybrid electric vehicles,” said BMW Group senior vice-president (production engines and electrified powertrains) Ilka Horstmeier at the launch.

Echoing her statement, Sime Darby Bhd chairman and non-independent non-executive director Tan Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah said: “Sime Darby Motors’ vision is to be the preferred contract assembly partner for the most dynamic automakers in Asean.

“We aim to produce more than 50,000 vehicles as well as the engine parts and components for the vehicles by 2020. The new SDAE Engine Assembly Facility takes us one giant leap forward in making this goal a reality,”

Currently, the SDAE Engine Assembly Facility is producing 10,000 engines for locally-assembled BMW and MINI vehicles. However, the facility has a maximum capacity of 20,000 units a year. There is also a possibility that locally-assembled vehicles will be exported to Vietnam and Philippines in the future.

The facility is equipped with the newest innovation for engine assembly, including the EST tightening equipment, Dosing and Bonding Technology (DoboTech) equipment, engine engraving, engine oil filling. It also has test machines for hydraulic valve play compensation, leak tests as well as hot and cold testing.

The new facility has a 60-person workforce, demonstrating a commitment to increase employment opportunities and career growth prospects within the local job market in the Kulim Hi-Tech area.

“Malaysia has long played the role of a strategic partner to the BMW Group in Southeast Asia and this significance is reflected in our business performance here, which mirrors our achievements worldwide,” said BMW Group Malaysia managing director and chief executive officer Harald Hoelzl.

He said in the first quarter of this year, the BMW Group was already on target for an eighth consecutive year of record sales, with a delivery of 604,629 vehicles worldwide, a three per cent growth as compared to the same period last year.

“The positive performance worldwide echoes in Malaysia, where BMW Group Malaysia has successfully achieved a 15 per cent increase in the deliveries of BMW, MINI and BMW Motorrad vehicles in the country, delivering 3,000 units in the first quarter of 2018,” said Hoelz.

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