Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) has confirmed that it will launch the V177 A-Class Sedan in locally-assembled (CKD) form here. This was revealed during a recent media roundtable attended by the company’s president and CEO, Sagree Sardienas, as well as its sales and marketing head, Michael Jopp.
In February this year, MBM expressed its intention to add locally-assembled MFA-based compact cars and SUV models to its lineup. This was later confirmed when we sighted a CKD production report by the Malaysian Automotive Association’s (MAA) for the month of July.
While the report didn’t explicitly state what was assembled by MBM’s plant in Pekan, Pahang, the listed engine displacement (between 1,301 cc to 1,501 cc) placed the A 200 Sedan, W177 A 200 hatchback and GLA 200 as potential candidates, as all three feature a M282 1.33 turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
At the time, we opined that the A-Class Sedan would be the first of the CKD MFA-based cars to come our way, and this is now officially the case. “First of all, we would like to congratulate [paultan.org] for finding this out, very good. Yes, we will be launching CKD A [Class} Sedan, which, obviously we’ve announced at the beginning of the year that we would be launching MFAs,” said Jopp.
“However, the mere fact that we have produced cars doesn’t necessarily mean we can sell cars, because before we’re able to sell cars, there are a couple of other pre-conditions that need to be met internally, just from a pure production release perspective,” he continued.
Jopp also brought up the issue of pricing approvals, which has affected car companies in Malaysia before, as we’ve seen with the Honda Civic facelift. “Referring back to the government, all these require pricing approvals that we don’t have at this moment,” he explained.
“This is something I can confirm and therefore, unfortunately, I cannot confirm when exactly we’re going to launch [the A-Class Sedan]. From a sales perspective, I hope it’s only a few weeks in the future. But honestly, I don’t know, I literally cannot say at this moment,” he added.
Based on Jopp’s reply, we can expect the CKD A-Class Sedan to be launched in the “next few weeks,” most likely with a lower price tag compared to the soon-to-be-outgoing fully-imported (CBU) A 200 that is offered in Progressive Line guise. It remains to be seen if there will be an equipment changes for the CKD version.
For some context, with the ongoing sales tax exemption of 50% for CBU cars, the A 200 Progressive Line is priced at RM222,121 on-the-road without insurance. The CKD version should be cheaper with localisation that sees a 100% sales tax exemption, making it even more price competitive when going up against the A-Class Sedan’s direct rival, the F44 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe that is also CKD and available in 218 M Sport form for RM211,367.
With local assembly of MFA-based cars a reality, we also asked if there was a possibility that EQ models based on the platform will join the CKD line-up. “Evaluating the overall EV portfolio, the decision has not been made which product makes more sense to be localised for Malaysia, if we decide to localise. And so, unfortunately, I cannot answer at this moment,” Jopp replied.
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