Volkswagen confirms more CKD models coming to Malaysia – return of base Golf with Mk8.5, Audi Q7/Q8?

Volkswagen confirms more CKD models coming to Malaysia – return of base Golf with Mk8.5, Audi Q7/Q8?

During the media drive event of the new Volkswagen Touareg earlier this week, Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) held a Q&A session in which senior officials fielded questions related to the car and the company. In particular, its managing director Denyu Bostandzhiev shared some interesting details regarding the future of the brand.

Asked by whether there will be any new models priced below the RM200,000 mark aside from the Tiguan Allspace (which starts at RM164,190), Bostanzhiev said: “There will be a car [in this price range]. I cannot tell you now when exactly, but I’d say quite soon.”

The real juicy part came later on, when the company boss indicated VPCM’s desire to reintroduce a regular (read: non-GTI or R) Golf sometime in the future. “We can assure you that something is happening with the Golf. Everybody’s waiting for the normal Golf. We’re working on it. We’d like to have the full range of the Golf. We have been owning the segment and we will own the segment in the future as well, it belongs to us.”

You may remember that the current Mk8 Golf was launched here in standard CKD R-Line guise back in July 2022 – after a protracted wait for its price to be approved – but was pulled from sale after less than a year. We can presume that it was killed due to slow sales, likely due to its high RM170,560 price and its lack of driver assistance kit.

Volkswagen confirms more CKD models coming to Malaysia – return of base Golf with Mk8.5, Audi Q7/Q8?

The Mk8 Golf R-Line was pulled from sale after less than a year

A rejigged specification with a lower price and/or the inclusion of VW’s IQ.Drive safety suite could make the business case for the standard Mk8 Golf work, but VPCM might instead be waiting for the new Mk8.5 model to bring the variant back. That car has already been comprehensively ruled out for this year, with the Touareg and the special-edition 50th anniversary Golf GTI (the latter will be limited to 50 units, it’s been confirmed) being the company’s big launches for 2024.

But that’s not all – Bostandzhiev also confirmed there will be another new model to help offset the cost of localising the CKD Touareg. The car is being locally assembled in Pekan, Pahang, the first time this is happening outside of VW’s Bratislava plant in Slovakia.

The company is only targeting to capture a 10% share of the already tiny premium executive SUV market in Malaysia – a segment dominated by the also-CKD BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE. That’s not a lot of volume for such a huge investment; the Touareg, let’s not forget, is based on the MLB Evo platform not shared with other Volkswagen brand models.

“[We need to] share technologies, share investments. I’m not allowed to tell you, but something is cooking. There will be a different model that will appear,” said Bostandzhiev.

Volkswagen confirms more CKD models coming to Malaysia – return of base Golf with Mk8.5, Audi Q7/Q8?

The use of the term “different model” is key, because it hints that it won’t simply be a variant of the Touareg, meaning we’ll have to look outside the VW brand. Currently, there are five large SUV models built on the MLB Evo architecture – the Audi Q7 and Q8, Porsche Cayenne, Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus.

The Cayenne is already being built here at the Inokom plant in Kulim, Kedah; we can also rule out the Bentayga and the Urus given their exclusivity and market positioning, leaving only the Audis as the viable options. This tracks with comments from Bostandzhiev (who is also MD of Audi distributor PHS Automotive Malaysia, or PHSAM) earlier this year, in which he confirmed the brand’s plans to assemble cars locally.

Helping Ingolstadt’s case is the fact that both the Q7 and Q8 can be had with the Touareg’s 340 PS 3.0 litre turbocharged V6 and eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox. Of the two, the more practical Q7 – which recently received its second facelift – is the one that makes the most sense given it will be the volume seller, with the added benefit of seven seats to further differentiate it from the five-seater Touareg.

GALLERY: Volkswagen Golf Mk8.5

GALLERY: 2024 Audi Q7 facelift

Looking to sell your car? Sell it with Carro.

Source link