Tan Chong inks MoU with China's SAIC to explore Southeast Asian commercial vehicle markets

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 20): Tan Chong Motor Holdings Bhd has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China's SAIC GM Wuling Automobile Co Ltd (SGMW) to explore business opportunities in introducing SGMW commercial vehicle products to Southeast Asian countries.

Tan Chong said this could lead the group to expand its foothold in the automotive industry in Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos.

The MoU, which is effective until the end of this year, was signed with SGMW by its wholly-owned subsidiary, TC Manufacturing (Labuan) Pte Ltd, said Tan Chong in a stock exchange filing today.

SGMW, which produces commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles and engines, is a joint venture with SAIC Motor Corp Ltd, Liuzhou Wuling Motors Co Ltd and GM China, and currently has four manufacturing bases in China.

Today's signing follows Tan Chong's other MoU entered into with SAIC Motor International Co Ltd last month, to cooperate with each other in the Vietnamese market on complete knock down assembly, sales and distribution, as well as on imported complete built up sales of certain automobile brand of products.

Last December, Tan Chong was reported to have lost its right to import and distribute Nissan vehicles and parts in Vietnam with effect from Sept 10 this year.

This came on the heels of Nissan Motor Co Ltd's notice of termination of its joint venture agreement, which was signed in 2010, with Tan Chong's wholly-owned subsidiary ETCM (V) Pte Ltd. No reason was disclosed for the termination at that time.

Shares in Tan Chong Motor today finished one sen or 0.69% up at RM1.45, bringing a market capitalisation of RM946.36 million.