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20 Years of the BMW Group in Malaysia: A Legacy of Excellence, Innovation and Sheer Driving Pleasure in the Malaysian Automotive Premium Segment

The year 2023 began promising an electrifying experience with the celebration of 20 Years of the BMW Group in Malaysia. With a sense of confidence and pride, the local reception for Sheer Electric Driving Pleasure has been nothing short of exceptional since 2003. BMW Group Malaysia takes this opportunity to reflect on the profound initiatives and activities undertaken over the past two decades, solidifying its position at the forefront of the industry and establishing itself as the leader in the premium segment of Malaysia. 

From the establishment of the BMW Headquarters in Malaysia to the support received from customers, dealers, associates, and partners, BMW Group Malaysia has successfully maintained its leading position, driven by a strong foundation of trust and collaboration.

BMW Sets Up Headquarters in Cyberjaya

In 2003, the BMW Group made a significant move in the country by establishing its headquarters in Cyberjaya, Malaysia, showcasing the premium automaker’s strong commitment and reflecting its confidence in Malaysia as an excellent investment destination. This decision highlighted Malaysia’s crucial role in the region and BMW’s ambition to become the leading premium automaker in the country. Since its establishment, the BMW headquarters has experienced tremendous growth in team size and has actively cultivated a diverse and inclusive work environment, fostering a multi-racial and multi-gender workforce as well as management team.

Extension of BMW Facilities in Malaysia

The BMW Group presence in Malaysia extended beyond its headquarters in Cyberjaya. The organisation strategically positioned various key touch-points across the country to ensure efficient operations and seamless services. In Cyberjaya, BMW established the National Sales Centre and the National Financial Services Centre. These centres served as key hubs for sales and financial services, respectively, supporting the premium automaker’s operations and facilitating its customer-centric approach in Malaysia.

To strengthen its manufacturing capabilities, BMW Malaysia established its Assembly Facilities at the Kulim Hi-Tech Park in Kedah together with its premium partner INOKOM Corporation, Sime Darby Motors’ pioneer motor vehicle manufacturing and assembly in the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER). These facilities played a vital role in producing BMW vehicles, supporting not only the Malaysian market but also catering to the broader needs of the BMW Group in the Asia-Pacific region. Recognising the significance of data management, BMW then established the BMW Group Data Centre (GDC) in Cyberjaya. The GDC served as a central hub for data storage, processing, and analysis, enabling BMW to harness valuable insights and optimize its operations.

Additionally, the BMW Group Regional Training Centre was established in Cyberjaya to provide comprehensive technical and non-technical training programs for the brands BMW, MINI and Rolls Royce for the Asia Pacific Region. These programs have since also included Digital Systems and High Voltage Expertise to support the development of Electric Vehicles (EV), ensuring that BMW’s workforce in the region remained well-equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge. 

To ensure the seamless distribution of parts and accessories, BMW also established the BMW Group Parts Distribution Centre at the Free Industrial Zone of the Senai International Airport in Senai, Johor. This facility plays a crucial role in supporting over 23 markets in the Asia-Pacific region, efficiently managing the supply chain and ensuring the availability of genuine for parts for the brands of the BMW Group in the region.

Extensive Dealership Network and Exceptional Customer Support in Malaysia

In the years the BMW Group has been operating in Malaysia, the premium automaker has also experienced remarkable growth in its dealership network, which has allowed the brand to cater to a wider customer base and provide exceptional services. With a total of 23 authorized dealerships nationwide as of today for the brands BMW, MINI, and BMW Motorrad vehicles, offering extensive Sales, Service, Spare Parts and Systems (4S) capabilities, the network has also become easily accessible to customers across the country. The expansion of the BMW Group’s dealership network in Malaysia has been a strategic move to ensure that customers can conveniently find their desired models, service their vehicles as well as gain access to fast charging of their electric vehicles with premium creature comforts. BMW’s commitment to customer satisfaction is evident in the extensive range of premium vehicles offered at these authorised dealerships, as well as the exceptional aftersales services provided. 

Driving Financial Excellence

BMW Group Financial Services was introduced in Malaysia in 2007. It marked the expansion of BMW’s financial services division to the Malaysian market, providing a dedicated range of financial solutions to support BMW customers in the country. Since its introduction, BMW Financial Services in Malaysia has been offering financing, insurance, and leasing options, providing customers with a convenient and seamless process for purchasing and owning a BMW vehicle. Flexible financing plans with competitive interest rates are available, allowing customers to select the option that best suits their budget and preferences. Specialised insurance plans are provided to ensure comprehensive coverage against accidents, theft, and damage. Additionally, the premium organisation also offers equipment financing to small and medium enterprises intending to scale up in Malaysia. In recent times, BMW Group Financial Services Malaysia now also offers financing services to organisations developing in the green technology, sustainability, and circularity space.

Pioneering Luxury and Performance in Malaysia

The fifth generation BMW 5 Series (E60) was the first model from the BMW portfolio to be introduced with the establishment of BMW Group Malaysia. The premium executive sedan made its debut in the Malaysian market in 2003, representing a significant milestone for the brand. Even at that time, the BMW 5 Series of that generation showcased the premium automaker’s commitment to luxury, performance, and innovation. The premium executive sedan featured a controversial and stark modern design, advanced technology, and a range of powerful engine options. The BMW 5 Series of that generation quickly gained popularity among car enthusiasts and executives seeking a premium and dynamic driving experience. The car set the foundation for the continued success of the BMW 5 Series in Malaysia, establishing reputation of BMW for delivering exceptional vehicles that blend luxury, comfort, and driving performance.

From Model Expansion to Regional Automotive Leadership

Over the years, BMW has witnessed significant growth in Malaysia by expanding its portfolio beyond the BMW 3 Series, BMW 5 Series, and BMW 7 Series models. With a focused strategy and a commitment to meeting the diverse preferences of customers, BMW has diversified its offerings, resulting in a larger and more diverse model line-up. Today, BMW produces the largest number of vehicles by model line-up in Malaysia, showcasing its dedication to catering to a wide range of automotive needs. Furthermore, BMW has emerged as the largest exporter of vehicles to Southeast Asia from Malaysia, highlighting its strong presence and influence in the regional automotive market. This growth reflects BMW’s success in capturing the market’s demand for premium vehicles and solidifies its position as a leading automotive brand in Malaysia and the wider Southeast Asian region.

Driving Innovation and Thought Leadership in Passenger Vehicles

BMW Malaysia has been at the forefront of driving new technology for passenger vehicles, establishing itself as an industry thought-leader. With a strong focus on Efficient Dynamics, BMW Malaysia has consistently pushed boundaries to enhance the efficiency and performance of their vehicles. A notable achievement was their pioneering introduction of Advanced Diesel vehicles, setting a new standard for innovation at the time. Not only were these vehicles technologically advanced, but they were also locally assembled, showcasing BMW Malaysia’s commitment to the local market and its potential for growth in the automotive industry. Through their relentless pursuit of cutting-edge solutions, BMW Malaysia continues to lead the way in shaping the future of mobility and delivering exceptional driving experiences to their customers.

BMW Malaysia Pioneers Electrified Mobility

At the BMW World Malaysia event in 2015, BMW Malaysia showcased its commitment to Electrified Mobility by unveiling a range of innovative vehicles. One of the highlights was the introduction of Mild Hybrid Vehicles, which combined the benefits of conventional combustion engines with electric power. These vehicles featured an advanced mild hybrid system that utilized a small electric motor to assist the engine during acceleration, resulting in improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. Additionally, BMW Malaysia also showcased its cutting-edge Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles, with the spotlight on the remarkable BMW i8. The BMW i8 exemplified the brand’s vision for the future of sustainable mobility, blending a powerful combustion engine with an electric motor to deliver exhilarating performance while minimizing environmental impact. The event served as a platform for BMW Malaysia to demonstrate its pioneering role in electrified mobility and its unwavering commitment to shaping a greener automotive landscape in Malaysia.

Arrival of Premium Electromobility in Malaysia

In 2018, BMW Malaysia took a significant stride towards electric vehicles in Malaysia by introducing the first-ever premium Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) for the Malaysian market. The introduction of the pioneering BMW i3s served as a strong testament to their commitment to shaping the Future of Mobility in Malaysia. The debut of the BMW i3s aligned with BMW Malaysia’s objective to drive sustainability in the future, making a notable contribution to the National Automotive Policy 2014 which aimed to establish Malaysia as a regional hub for energy-efficient vehicles (EEV) by 2022. Since then, the fully-electric BMW i portfolio has grown significantly, with four powerful BMW BEVs and a MINI BEV model available for the local market as of today.

Driving Towards a Sustainable Future

In recent years, BMW Malaysia has elevated its sustainability efforts by embracing circularity, focusing on reducing waste and maximizing resource efficiency across its business value chain in the country. The premium automaker has implemented various measures and initiatives, including recycling and reusing materials during vehicle production, and striving for a closed-loop recycling system. By incorporating recycled materials and renewable resources into their vehicles, BMW Malaysia aims to minimise its carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future.

As part of its RE:THINK and RE:GENERATE initiatives, BMW Group Malaysia is focused on driving sustainability and circularity practices within the organization and across its business operations in the country. Partnering with the local partners working in its business ecosystem, BMW Group Malaysia is mapping out its Carbon footprint and developing meaningful initiatives in its business process in a circular manner to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Sustainable Mobility and Social Responsibility: BMW Malaysia’s Vision for a Greener Future

BMW Malaysia’s commitment to sustainability and circularity stems from its deep-rooted understanding of the urgent need to address environmental challenges. Recognizing that the automotive industry is a significant contributor to carbon emissions, BMW Malaysia aims to lead by example and make a positive impact on the environment. In addition to their sustainability initiatives, BMW Malaysia also places a strong emphasis on safety. The company believes that safety should be an inherent part of every vehicle, and thus, they have implemented Safety 360, a comprehensive safety concept. This approach integrates advanced technologies and safety features to provide a secure driving experience for customers. From intelligent driver assistance systems to robust structural design, BMW Malaysia prioritizes safety at every stage of vehicle development and production.

Furthermore, during the challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic, BMW Malaysia demonstrated its commitment to supporting communities in need by providing logistical support to power local relief missions across the country. Recognizing the impact of the pandemic on vulnerable communities, the company collaborated with local non-governmental organizations to deliver and distribute food assistance to those in need. This initiative was a testament to BMW Malaysia’s dedication to supporting society beyond its core business – demonstrating solidarity during a time of crisis.

Fueling Creativity and Inspiring Innovation

BMW Malaysia has long recognized the profound impact of art, digital content, and ideas on society, and as such, has actively fostered a vibrant creative community in Malaysia. A remarkable testament to this commitment is the BMW Art Car programme, which brought together the worlds of art and automotive design. Through this initiative, BMW Malaysia collaborated with renowned local artists to transform BMW vehicles into captivating works of art, showcasing the fusion of creativity and innovation. This programme not only celebrated the intersection of art and mobility but also provided a platform for Malaysian artists to showcase their talent on a global stage.

Building on the success of the BMW Art Car programme, BMW Malaysia extended its support for the creative industry by introducing the BMW Shorties, an annual short film competition. This platform encouraged aspiring filmmakers to showcase their skills and creativity, while also nurturing talent and providing a launchpad for their careers. By recognizing and celebrating the power of storytelling through film, BMW Malaysia has played a pivotal role in inspiring and empowering the next generation of Malaysian filmmakers.

Hans de Visser, the Managing Director of BMW Group Malaysia said, “As we celebrate the 20th Year Anniversary of BMW Group Malaysia this year, we are reminded that it is our ambition and our strategies for the Malaysian automotive sector that have brought us here today. Our goal is not only to become the leading automaker in the premium segment here but also to establish ourselves as the market leader for electrified vehicles in the country.”

“The years to come are building up to be exciting ones, and we are ready to continue delivering not just the Premium Ownership Experience, as we have done for the last two decades, but now, also – Sheer Electric Driving Pleasure. As we charge ahead, we also look forward to new opportunities in every aspect of sustainability, starting with our existing partners in sustainable solutions. Once again, we express our deepest gratitude and appreciation to all our customers, associates, and dealer representatives in our network for consistently making us Number One for three consecutive years and loved by our Malaysian customer base for 20 years now,” de Visser adds.

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