Taking place at the German sportscar maker's first assembly facility outside of Europe, the event was opened by Kedah Raja Muda Tengku Sarafudin Badlishah Ibni Al Aminul Karim Sultan Sallehudin.
He was accompanied by Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor, Sime Darby Bhd board members as well as Porsche AG and Porsche Asia Pacific's management and members of the executive board.
During the ceremony, Sime Darby Bhd CEO Datuk Jeffri Salim Davidson said that the new assembly facility is being staffed entirely by skilled Malaysians who have received comprehensive training from Porsche personnel.
"We are very honoured by Porsche's continued trust in Sime Darby, as we deliver a product consistent with Porsche's highest standards for quality, performance and driving experience," said Davidson.
He added that not only does this support the growth of Porsche's businesses across the automotive value chain in Malaysia, but also creates a pipeline of jobs to empower the local community.
Porsche AG member of the executive board for sales and marketing Detlev von Platen explained that the milestone of rolling out the first locally assembled Cayenne is indicative of the importance of Malaysia to the German company.
"Our growth strategy underlines the importance of Malaysia as the company looks to expand its presence in the Asean region and this demonstrates our confidence in Sime Darby - a strong partner on our side," said Platen.
Adding about the new plant, Porsche member of the executive board for production and logistics Albrecht Reimond said that the new assembly site in Malaysia meets specific market needs and operated alongside Porsche's established network of production sites in Europe.
"In particular, it meets comprehensive quality standards set forth by Porsche when assembling Porsche sportscars and the facility was built alongside our production philosophy: smart lean and green. Therefore, the new assembly facility is not only a benchmark in efficiency and quality but also sustainability," said Reimond.
Such sustainable solutions include the use of rainwater harvesting to reduce overall water usage and solar panels.
The assembly is further supported by a network of local suppliers and service providers in the area, empowering the future of the local community with job opportunities, upskilling prospects and the potential for further expansion.
The locally-assembled Cayenne, in its right-hand drive form for Malaysia, is being offered with the Porsche Manufactur option package and a special Porsche Design timepiece available for further personalisation - all exclusively for the Malaysian market.
Upon request, a wide range of lifestyle Tequipment accessories will be made available.
We had previously reported that the locally assembled Cayenne would be priced from RM550,000, which is a reduction of RM115,000 to the fully imported unit.
During the plant tour, it was indicated that the Cayenne currently possesses 49% of local content, which includes six modules such as the front end, cockpit, centre console, front and rear axle and all four doors.
To fully build a Cayenne in Malaysia, the assembly plant must receive more than 1,000 parts from 350 suppliers located around Europe.
These parts will start their 17,000km journey from Slovakia and will take seven weeks to reach Malaysia's northern port of Penang, before getting transported some 25km inland to the plant.
The assembly of the Cayenne typically takes two full days to transform itself from just mere parts to a fully usable road-going product.
At present, the plant is said to be able to cope with demand and currently remains flexible to the requests of its discerning clientele. - JAY WONG