KUALA LUMPUR: Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd is bringing its electric vehicles to Malaysia, where it will compete with industry leaders Tesla Inc and BYD Co.
The Chinese company unveiled three variants of its Smart #1 EV in Kuala Lumpur – the Pro, Premium and Brabus.
The Pro starts at RM189,000, rising to RM249,000 for the Brabus.
Tesla’s Model 3 also starts at RM189,000 and BYD’s Atto is priced from RM148,000.
Malaysia’s EV market is small – Fitch forecasts total sales of about 5,840 units this year, up 82% from 2022 and representing a penetration rate of just 1.8%.
Geely is also investing an undisclosed amount in a high-tech automotive city with manufacturing capacities in Tanjung Malim, Perak, where Proton cars are built. Its partner in Smart, Mercedes-Benz Group AG, became the first automaker to locally assemble an EV in Malaysia this year with its EQS model.
The Smart cars will be distributed by Pro-Net, a unit of Malaysia’s national automaker Proton, in which Geely has a 49.9% stake. Pro-Net will also distribute the EVs in Thailand, and take the brand to the east Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah next year.