Toyota marks start of hiace export from Malaysia to Thailand

TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced today that UMW Toyota Motor Sdn. Bhd. (UMWT) has begun exporting the Hiace produced at Assembly Services Sdn. Bhd. (ASSB)* to Thailand.

A ceremony to mark the start of exports was held today at ASSB in Selangor Darul Ehsan. Many honored guests were in attendance, including Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia Tadashi Imai. Also present were TMC Senior Managing Director Akira Okabe, UMWT Chairman Tan Sri Asmat Kamaludin, Deputy Chairman Yoshimi Ishii and Managing Director David Chen.

In his speech, Okabe said, "The start of Hiace exports to Thailand is a very historical event in Toyota's operation in Malaysia. This is in line with the Malaysian automotive policy announced in March. We at Toyota will continue to make efforts to strengthen our manufacturing operations and to contribute to the development of the Malaysian auto industry."

Plans call for 3,300 units of the Hiace to be produced at ASSB in 2006, of which 1,300 units will be exported to Thailand and for Hiace exports to increase in 2007. ASSB has been producing automobiles since 1968, but the export of the Hiace marks the first time for the company to export a completed vehicle.

Since its initial launch in 1967, the Hiace has been renowned for its high performance and high quality in Japan, as well as in countries in Asia, the Middle East, Oceania, Africa and Latin America.

TMC hopes the export of the Hiace, which is a highly competitive vehicle of world-class quality, will contribute to the further development of Malaysia.

*ASSB is UMWT's wholly owned assembly plant in Malaysia.

Outline of UMWT 

Company name UMW Toyota Motor Sdn. Bhd. (UMWT)
Managing director David Chen
Field of business Import, export and sales of vehicles/parts
2005 sales results 93,200 units
Shareholder composition UMW Holdings (51%), TMC (39%), Toyota Tsusho Corporation (10%)
Number of employees 2,700

Outline of ASSB 

Company name Assembly Services Sdn. Bhd. (ASSB)
Product lineup Corolla, Camry, Hiace, VIOS, Hilux, Innova, Fortuner, engines
2005 production results 54,900 units (including 10,500 engines)
Shareholder composition UMW Toyota Motor Sdn. Bhd. 100%
Number of employees 2,900