WTC Automotif collaborates on first overseas CKD project for GAC

Even before the first locally-assembled SUV has been delivered in Malaysia, the business relationship between WTC Automotif (M) Sdn Bhd (WTCA) and China’s Guangzhou Automobile Corporation Group (GAC) has moved on to a new phase. This is the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the local assembly of a second model for the Malaysian market as well as a lefthand-drive variant for export to Vietnam.

The MoU (signed with GAC Motor International) starts off with feasibility studies being conducted first although it is almost certain that the projects will proceed. This is because a local assembly program for the GAC GS3 EMZOOM is already underway, having commenced recently. Thus, WTCA and the Tan Chong Motor Assemblies (TCMA) plant have already demonstrated their capabilities to handle the project which has an investment of RM60 million.

Tan Chong Motor Assemblies (TCMA) GAC (8)
For decades, there has been a Nissan model over the entrance of Tan Chong Motor Assemblies in Segambut, Kuala Lumpur. Now there is a GAC model, perhaps symbolising a new era for the assembly plant which is almost 50 years old.

TCMA, located in Segambut, Kuala Lumpur, has long experience in vehicle assembly as it began operations almost 50 years ago. Manufacturers such as Nissan, Audi, Subaru, Renault and Mitsubishi have used TCMA to assemble their passenger vehicles and the plant also has the capability to do commercial vehicles.


The feasibility study will take about 3 – 4 months, after which a more definitive agreement will be signed between the two companies. Unlike the assembly program for the EMZOOM, this second one involves technical collaboration as well and it is the first time GAC is undertaking a local assembly project outside China.

Tan Chong Motor Assemblies (TCMA) GAC
Preparing for assembly of the GS3 EMZOOM at TCMA. Full-scale production has commenced on schedule and the first customers will get their SUVs during the second quarter of the year.

The significance of this was apparent with the presence of not only senior management of both companies but also a team from the Guangzhou Municipal Peoples Government led by Vice-Mayor Lai Zhihong. The signing ceremony was also witnessed by Anthony Loke, Malaysia’s Transport Minister.

The second SUV model to be assembled will be the GS3 EMKOO (pictured below), one segment up from the EMZOOM. Specifications have not been revealed yet but the EMKOO has a similar 1.5-litre engine as the EMZOOM, as well as a 2-litre engine. Both SUVs share GAC’s GPMA (Global Platform Modular Architecture) and platform.


Although GAC is already selling its products in a number of ASEAN markets, the choice of Vietnam to export the EMKOO to is due to Tan Chong Motor Holdings (TCMH) having a presence in that market, so it is beneficial to GAC for market entry. TCMH is an affiliate of Warisan TC Holdings Berhad, which is the parent company of WTCA.

“I eagerly anticipate the ongoing support from government bodies and individuals from both nations. GAC is steadfast in its commitment to closely collaborate with Tan Chong Group, seizing emerging opportunities, deepening cooperation, optimising resource synergy, leveraging complementary strengths, and crafting a strategic win-win situation for both entities. This collective endeavour will rejuvenate regional economic and social development, injecting renewed vitality into the friendly alliance between China and Malaysia,” said GAC’s President, Feng Xingya.


About GAC Motor
Compared to many of the Chinese brands that have appeared in Malaysia in recent times, GAC  actually has more years of experience in the auto business as its history gies back to 1955.

In 2023, it produced and sold over 2.5 million of its vehicles to around 25 countries.

Over the years, GAC has formed joint ventures with many established global carmakers such as Honda, Fiat, Hino, Isuzu, Mitsubishi Motors, Peugeot and Toyota. While gaining experience with working together with these carmakers, GAC Group has also developed its own technologies with a focus on new energy vehicles. Key technologies it has been working on include all-solid-state batteries, cobalt-free batteries, low-cobalt batteries, and sodium-ion batteries and last year, it also revealed an ammonia powered engine.

Visit to know more about the GAC models to be available in Malaysia and where to place a booking.

WTC Automotif building GAC network around Malaysia

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