Audi AG, commonly known as Audi around the world, was founded in Cologne, Germany in 1899 by August Horch for producing luxurious vehicles. The iconic four-ringed emblem symbolizes the founding companies that merged with the company – Audi, Horch, Dampfkraftwagen (DKW), and Wanderer Automobile.
Audi Malaysia was formed in 2014 when Audi vehicles in Malaysia are under a brand new distributor as of July 1st under PHS Automotive Malaysia (PHSAM) and all brand new Audi vehicles are sold by Euromobil Sdn. Bhd. Currently, Audi has an impressive lineup, ranging from coupes, sedans, wagons, and SUVs. If you’re looking to sell your pre-loved Audi to us, click here to get a free inspection and sell it in 24 hours!
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Did you know BMW started off by making aircraft engines? The company started in 1916 as an aircraft manufacturer and was subsequently renamed Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) as we know it today. BMW’s first road-going car was a rebadged Dixi, which in turn was a German rebadged Austin 7 automobile from the UK. Today, BMW prides itself on producing one of the best driving experiences it can offer.
BMW Group Malaysia was established in 2003 as a joint venture with BMW Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. and Sime Darby Berhad oversee the authorized importation, manufacture, and distribution of BMW and MINI vehicles in Malaysia. BMW’s plant in Kulim, Kedah currently assembles a myriad of segments ranging from the 3 Series Sedan to the X series crossovers.
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The establishment of Ford in Malaysia predates our country’s independence in 1926. Prior to the arrival of Japanese vehicles or the birth of Proton, Fords, Austins, or Volvo are the few vehicles that populated pre-independence Malaya roads. British-model Fords were commonly imported into the country by wealthy plantation, mines, and business owners in Malaya from the Singapore Plant.
Fast forward to today, Ford has expanded their catalog beyond the Ford Cortina in Malaysia. Sime Darby Auto Connexion now represents Ford Malaysia. The company currently is the sole distributor of Ford vehicles in Malaysia. Currently, the Ford Ranger is the only model available from the dealership.
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Hyundai was founded in 1947 with the goal of developing and reindustrializing South Korea’s economy after the damages of World War 2. The company would then see itself expanding to the automotive industry in 1967 as Hyundai Motor Company. Today, it is known as the Hyundai Motor Group, which owns Genesis and Ioniq as its luxury marque.
Inokom Corporation Sdn. Bhd. is responsible for assembling CKD models in Malaysia while Hyundai Sime Darby Motors Sdn. Bhd. is the official distributor and Sime Darby Hyundai Sdn. Bhd. is the official importer of Hyundai vehicles in the country. That’s why you’ll see some pre-loved Hyundai models for sale have Inokom as their brand.
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Soichiro Honda was a racer turned businessman when he founded the company. Honda first started off making motorized bicycles. At one point, Honda was the biggest motorcycle manufacturer in Japan before foraying into cars in 1963. Honda would have struck gold with its Honda Civic lineup which became the best-selling automobile of all time. One of Honda’s most notable models and technology includes the Type-R specification of the Civic engineered for enthusiasts and motorsports in mind along with its Vtec technology.
In Malaysia, Honda Malaysia is formed as a partnership between Honda Motor Co. Ltd. of Japan, DRB-HICOM Berhad, and Oriental Holdings Berhad. TASCO is the appointed logistics provider for overseeing the distribution of all CBU Honda cars assembled in Pegoh, Melaka. Honda Malaysia’s current lineup consists of the iconic Civic, City, HR-V, and CR-V for sale.
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Kia has its humble roots in manufacturing bicycles and steel tubes when it was founded in 1944. Like most automobile manufacturers in Asia, Kia started off manufacturing rebadged vehicles under license. The company has its fair share in manufacturing trucks and passenger cars alike before being bought over by Hyundai Motor Company in 1998.
Over in Malaysia, Dinamikjaya Motors Sdn. Bhd. (DMSB), a subsidiary of Bermaz Motors will be the sole distributor for all Kia vehicles in the country as a partnership between Bermaz Motors and Kia Motors. Kia Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (KMSB), which was formed after the partnership, undertakes all the assembling of CKD models in the country. Kia’s current lineup is slowly shifting towards electric and hybrid vehicles but their petrol-powered vehicles are still available as used units.
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Some call it Land Rover, and others call it Range Rover. What’s the difference? According to Land Rover themselves – Land Rover is the brand of the vehicle while a Range Rover is a specific Land Rover model. Hence, its full name is called Land Rover Range Rover. A Range Rover is also referred to as a subcategory of models. The older models used to be called Land Rovers due to their 4×4 and off-road capable models. Land Rover did not adopt the name Range Rover until 1970 when the first Range Rover SUV was introduced to the world.
Today, Range Rover’s fully dedicated to making luxurious SUVs to the market. Range Rovers in Malaysia are exclusively brought in by Jaguar Land Rover (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., which was formed as a joint venture between SISMA Auto and Sime Darby Motors.
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The luxury division of Toyota, Lexus was founded in 1989 to rival its Japanese competitors in the premium market. Lexus’ first model was the LS 400 Sedan, which was released in 1989 that went against the Honda-owned Acura and the Nissan-owned Infiniti as their competitors. Subsequently, Lexus added more models to their lineup including sedans, coupes, convertibles, and SUVs due to the immense amount of success it had around the world.
Lexus Malaysia was founded in 2006 by UMW Toyota Motor Sdn. Bhd. as they are the sole importer of all Lexus vehicles in the country. Currently, there are no CKD models among Lexus’ lineup as all their vehicles are imported from Japan.
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It needs little to no introduction among the car community. Whether it’s making cheap sedans, to the iconic Miata and the legendary rotary-engined powered sports cars, Mazda always finds a way to offer something for everyone. Today, Mazda may have moved on from its affordable and performance-oriented past, but the spirit of the company’s philosophy has been retained in its present models.
Bermaz Auto Berhad is currently the official distributor of Mazda vehicles in Malaysia. Established in 2008, the company also had a joint venture with the Mazda Motor Corporation known as Mazda Malaysia in Kulim, Kedah. It is also where they manufacture models such as the CX-5 and CX-8 for domestic and export markets.
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This German marque, along with Porsche and BMW, has garnered favor and respect among the luxury automobile market worldwide. Mercedes Benz claims credit for inventing the first motorized carriage in 1886. Centered in Stuttgart, Germany, the company has produced numerous models of luxurious, performance, and commercial vehicles around the world. The Mercedes-AMG GmbH or commonly known as AMG serves as a high-performance subsidiary division of Mercedes. Its roots in motorsports and engineering high-performance vehicles from base Mercedes models make them a sought-after name among enthusiasts.
In Malaysia, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. is a whole-owned subsidiary of Daimler AG. With its production plant located in Pahang, the company oversees the production of CKD units while Cycle and Carriage Bintang Berhad. are in charge of the distribution. The company is responsible for the largest network of 35 premium dealerships and service centers in the country.
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The Mini started off as a 2-door hatchback manufactured by the British Motor Corporation in 1959. This iconic little city car has become a British icon in the ‘60s and even starred in the world-famous Mr. Bean sitcom. Currently, the Mini Marque is wholly owned by BMW but still has its headquarters and plant in the United Kingdom.
Mini Malaysia currently operates under BMW Group Malaysia, which serves as the official distributor and importer of all Mini vehicles in the country. The majority of the Mini’s in Malaysia are imported with the exception of the Countryman Plug-in Hybrid and Cooper S Countryman which is being manufactured in BMW’s plant at Kulim, Kedah.
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Mitsubishi Motor Corporation, commonly known as Mitsubishi Motors, was founded in 1917. Initially founded as a shipbuilding company, it expanded to several industries such as aircraft, railroad, and eventually automobiles. The company saw success in its participation in motorsports and offroading due to their four-wheel-drive and turbocharged engine formula in their vehicles that are available to the consumer market.
Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia was founded in 2005 to oversee its distribution in the country. Tan Chong Motor Assemblies (TCMA) manufactures the Mitsubishi Outlander domestically while the infamous Triton is assembled and imported from Japan. While Mitsubishi Motors has lived past its heydays in motorsports, much of its heritage is still being carried forwards in its current vehicles today.
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Nissan’s original name was called DAT when it was founded in 1914 after their three investors as an acronym. The name Nissan did not emerge in the 1930s when the first president founded the holding company, Nihon Sangyo. When turned into an abbreviation it gave birth to the name Nissan that we know today. Nissan Motors was founded shortly after and has seen great success in producing consumer and performance-oriented vehicles. Notables are the infamous Nissan Skylines and the GTR models.
In Malaysia, Nissan is represented by Edaran Tan Chong Motor Sdn. Bhd, which is the sole distributor of vehicles while Tan Chong Motor Holdings Berhad is responsible for the manufacturing of the cars. Locally assembled modes include Almera, Serena, X-trail, and the utility van NV200. The Navara trucks are directly imported from Thailand.
The second national car in Malaysia after Proton, the name Perodua is an aberration of Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sendirian Berhad. Currently, it is Malaysia’s biggest Automotive Manufacturer. Just like Proton, Perodua has been a household name among Malaysians due to their cars being within the affordable range.
The company’s first profound success was the Perodua Kancil, which essentially was a domestically produced Daihatsu Mira. Historically, Perodua has never had an in-house engineer and designer; parts and components consist of licensed parts from Daihatsu as it has a huge stake in Perodua itself. Arguably, the Perodua Myvi is the company’s most successful lineup.
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Peugeot was founded in 1810 in France as a family business under the Peugeot surname. With a steel foundry, the company primarily focuses on tools, and bicycles before eventually moving to automobiles. Peugeot’s first car was a three-wheeled steam-powered car but eventually moved on to petro-powered engines after steam-powered vehicles were deemed obsolete. After World War 2, the company restarted back production of small family-oriented vehicles before finding its way and success in motorsports.
Peugeot Malaysia is represented by Berjaya Auto Alliance Sdn. Bhd. to officially distribute the brand’s vehicles in Malaysia in December 2020. In addition, its manufacturing plant is located in Gurun, Kedah, which is responsible for producing all right-hand-drive Peugeot vehicles in ASEAN.
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Malaysia’s first national car. Proton was founded as the brainchild of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad with the goal of enhancing the Malaysian industry in 1983. The first car, the Proton Saga was the result of a joint venture between Proton and Mitsubishi Motors which was launched in 1985. Sales of the Saga broke records domestically and abroad in the UK which subsequently improved their lineups with the Wira, Iswara, Satria, and Perdana.
Currently, Proton Holding has been acquired by Geely in 2019, which now reflects on Proton’s latest lineup today. The Proton X50 and X70 are based on the Geely Binyue and Boyue from China.
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Founded in 1932 as an aircraft research company and previously known as Fuji Heavy Industries, Subaru sought to enter the automotive market with motorized scooters and cars made out of spare airplane parts. The company made its name for its boxer, flat-four engine, and its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive layout. Subaru has proven itself by dominating the rally championship and remains a favorite among car enthusiasts. Just like Mitsubishi, much of its rallying and offroading roots are still retained on its current models. Most notably their turbocharged flat-four engines and all-wheel-drive platform.
In Malaysia, Subaru is represented by Motor Image Malaysia Sdn. Bhd, which is a subsidiary of Tan Chong International Limited. Established in 1986 and headquartered in Singapore, they are responsible for the distribution of all Subaru units in the country. Most Subaru units are imported from Japan with the exception of the Subaru XV, which was a partnership established with the Subaru Corporation to manufacture the XV domestically in Segambut.
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Known for their motorcycles and quad-bikes, Suzuki also had a fair share in expanding to the automotive industry. Suzuki made attempts to break into the passenger car market with several prototypes in 1937 but was thwarted by the Japanese government during World War 2. Since then, Suzuki has had profound success in the super-mini segment in Japan known as Kei cars. These cars are extremely popular in the Japanese market due to their small, nimble size for city drives.
In Malaysia, Suzuki has returned to the Malaysian market under Naza Eastern Motors after a seven-year withdrawal from the country. Their current lineup consists of the iconic Suzuki Swift and the all-new mini 4×4 Jimny.
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Toyota has always been the icon of reliability among consumers when it comes to getting a dependable vehicle for a good price. Founded in 1937 in Japan, Toyota Motors began as a spinoff company from Toyota Industries and, just like Honda with the Civic, Toyota found its golden goose in the Toyota Corolla in the 1960s, which would go on to become one of the best-selling automobiles in the world. Outside of passenger and commercial vehicles, Toyota has also participated in numerous motorsports around the world with some of the most iconic vehicles being the Supra, AE86, MR2, and Celica, which today, still remain an enthusiast’s dream to own.
UMW Toyota Motor Sdn. Bhd. is the appointed distributor, assembler, and exporter of all Toyota vehicles in Malaysia. In addition, the company was also awarded the franchise rights to distribute Lexus vehicles in the country. Currently, UMW Toyota has two manufacturing plants in Malaysia at Bukit Raja Industrial Estate in Klang and in Shah Alam where CKD models such as the Vios, Corolla Cross, Yaris, and the Hilux.
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Did you know the name Volkswagen stands for “the People’s Car” in German? Founded in 1937 by the former ruling party of Germany, its iconic Beetle serves as the company’s first car and the flagship model of the brand. After World War 2, Volkswagen played an important role, industrially and economically, to bring post-war Germany back on track. Volkswagen’s notable breakthrough was through the development of several models such as the T2 van and the Karmann Ghia to its lineup.
Over in Malaysia, Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) is the sole distributor for all Volkswagen vehicles in the country. An assembly plant in Pekan, Pahang was founded as a collaboration between DRB-Hicom and Volkswagen Group. Currently, locally assembled CKD models include Vento, Tiguan, and Passat.
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The Volvo Group, commonly known as Volvo, is a Swedish Manufacturing Corporation headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. Founded in 1927, the name Volvo stands for “I roll” in Latin. Volvo has historically been known to produce extremely reliable cars just like Toyota which is why you can still see old Volvos running on the road today. Aside from manufacturing passenger vehicles, Volvo also offers commercial and utility vehicles as subsidiaries in their company, most notably Volvo Trucks and Volvo Busses.
Volvo Car Manufacturing Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (VCMM) was established in 1999, and took over the role of producing and distributing Volvo cars in Malaysia. The Volvo assembly plant in Shah Alam is the first car plant outside of Sweden and continues to serve as the oldest car assembly plant in Malaysia today, with several CKD models of SUVs and sedans.
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What started off as a simple hobby of collecting die-cast cars grew to become an obsession with the real deal. Dabbled in property for a year before making a career change to follow his passion for cars. Drives a 2016 Nissan Almera daily with dreams of upgrading to a Toyota one day.