Beijing 2024: BAIC X55II, BJ40 Plus shown in China – SUVs set for CKD local assembly in Malaysia in 2025

Beijing 2024: BAIC X55II, BJ40 Plus shown in China – SUVs set for CKD local assembly in Malaysia in 2025

Taking part in the vast exhibitor presence at Auto China 2024 that took place in Beijing is BAIC, which displayed the X55 II and the BJ40 Plus SUVs at the motor show. These models are notable as they have been earmarked not just for sale in Malaysia, but they will also be locally assembled (CKD) in Melaka.

Of these, the X55 II appears that bit closer to Malaysian-market reality as the example shown at Auto Beijing is a right-hand-drive unit, while the BJ40 Plus on the show stand remains a left-hand-drive example.

Badging for the X55 II will change for its entry into Malaysia, where the ‘Beijing’ script seen on the show car here will make way for BAIC branding for our market. As a B-segment SUV entry, this will compete with the likes of the Proton X50 and the Chery Omoda 5, among others.

Next, the BJ40 Plus is a more traditionally off-road styled SUV with its more square-edged, straight-lined form, with shades of Jeep Wrangler to its silhouette. Familiar-looking prefix? That would be the model code for the genesis of a long-running Japanese line.

While the X55 II B-SUV above in China gets a 188 PS/305 Nm 1.5 litre turbocharged petrol engine paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, the BJ40 Plus in overseas markets such as the United Arab Emirates gets a 2.3 litre turbocharged petrol engine rated to produce 250 PS and 350 Nm, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

For Malaysia, the aforementioned local assembly plant will be in Pegoh, Melaka, where the new facility will be established by EP Manufacturing (EPMB) over several phases with more than RM100 million set to be committed to the project.

Once completed, the Pegoh plant will have the capacity to produce up to 30,000 vehicles annually, and is set to create 1,000 job opportunities in the state. In addition to the BAIC duo, the EPMB plant in Pegoh is also expected to assemble vehicles for Great Wall Motor.



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