ITALIAN components maker Magneti Marelli has launched a new plant in Batu Kawan, Penang, to boost its production to feed Asean and Japanese markets.
Its chief executive Eugenio Razelli said the new plant, which replaces the facilities in Bayan Lepas, will expand production from 1.7 million lighting units to 2.2 million, including front and rear lights, with the potential to increase the capacity to 2.9 million units.
These components will be supplied to carmakers' customers in Japan including Honda, Mazda and Suzuki, as well as those in the Asean region, including Proton and Perodua in Malaysia and Ford and GM in Thailand and Indonesia.
"The location (of the new plant in Batu Kawan) will meet increasing demand from the Asean market, which is becoming important both in terms of its own developing automotive market and as a production hub aimed at the entire Asian continent, and Japan in particular," Razelli said in a statement yesterday.
The new facility covers a total surface area of 56,600 sq m, with 26,600 sq m for production and a workforce of 1,000 people.
It will produce front headlamps, rear lights, fog lamps and introduce LED technology.
"By inaugurating this new industrial facility in Malaysia, Magneti Marelli proves that it is ready to seize the market opportunities in an extremely dynamic context, and to increase its own production and technological capacity in areas with high growth rate," Razelli said.
Magneti Marelli, which is part of Fiat Spa, designs and produces advanced systems and components for the automotive industry.
Its products include electronic systems, lighting, powertrain, suspension systems, shock absorbers, exhaust systems, aftermarket parts and services, plastic components and modules and motorsport.
With 86 production units, 12 research and development centres and 26 application centres in 19 countries, some 36,900 employees and a turnover of euro5.8 billion (RM25.23 billion) last year, the group supplies its products to all leading carmakers in Europe, North and South America and the Far East.