The new British-Malaysia product partnership will see LDV and Weststar develop the light commercial vehicle market with LDV's Maxus range of products in 20 countries beginning in Vietnam and Indonesia, followed by other Asean countries, Australia, New Zealand and the Gulf Co-operation Council states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Quatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Weststar LDV Sdn Bhd has secured exclusive rights as franchise holder and will market, assemble, distribute and service the full range of LDV Maxus light commercial vehicles in the 20 countries.
The announcement marks the first time a Malaysian company has acquired the rights to assemble a model and distribute it beyond Malaysia's shores under its own brand name.
Dato' Seri Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim, managing director of Weststar LDV said: "Asia's economic rise has resulted in the over- production of passenger cars and under-investment in light commercial vehicles. Demand is at a high point across the countries we serve, and rapidly rising.
'Our entry point, with demand outpacing supply, means that we may need to ramp up production and make cross-supply arrangements to fill gaps in the supply of light commercial vehicles across the 20 countries we operate in.
'In one stroke, this British-Malaysia partnership creates a multi-country opening for us while falling in step with Malaysia's national automotive policy, which is to have our auto industry footprint spanning the region.'
Steve Young, LDV's UK chief executive said: 'When GAZ International purchased LDV in 2006, we said that our ambitions were to take the LDV Maxus range across the globe. Our partnership with Weststar reflects this ambition.'
The initial Malaysian production run will be 600 units this year.