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SIME Darby Motors (SDM) has, in a huge vote in the future of dealerships, opened a 3.4-hectare automotive sales and service “city” in Malaysia that has 200 service bays, 700 customer parking bays and space to display more than 180 vehicles.

Sime Darby Motors City, in the town of Ara Damansara in Malaysia’s Selangor, has 10 brands in six centres with a total covered area of 121,000 spare metres over eight levels.

It has been developed to be ready for future trends, including the move to electric vehicles, and is designed as a sustainable facility with Green Building Index certification.

SDM managing director Andrew Basham, who was the driving force behind the city, said the company had always been committed to pursuing excellence.

(From L-R) Syed Ahmad Muzri Syed Faiz, Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.; Low Yuan Lung, Managing Director, Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors Sdn. Bhd.; Vi Thim Juan, Managing Director, Sime Darby Auto Bavaria Sdn. Bhd. and Sime Darby Auto Selection Sdn. Bhd.; Jeffrey Gan, Managing Director, Retail & Distribution – Malaysia, Sime Darby Motors; Christopher Hunter, Chief Executive Officer, Sime Darby Auto Performance Sdn. Bhd.; Jeremy Cheong, Dealer Principal, Sime Darby Swedish Auto Sdn. Bhd.

It is Malaysia’s first automotive facility that deploys Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, which helps improve service capacity and supports Sime Darby Motors’ growth by accelerating efficiencies.

The city also has automated number-plate recognition cameras and a vehicle tracking management system using a camera-based parking guide and customisable signs for customer convenience and rapid collection of vehicles after servicing.

Customers can use contactless self-check-in with a QR code that puts them immediately in the queue.

Among the statistics are the employment of 60 Auto Bavaria technicians for BMW, Mini and Motorrad (BMW motorcycles) and over 110 certified technicians.

This includes technicians who hold the highest level of certification by the principal brands, including the Zertifizierter Porsche Techniker Gold Certification which is streamlined for Porsche technicians worldwide.

Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar and Land Rover also have certifications with the highest being trained as master technicians.

It has Malaysia’s first fast direct current (DC) high performance charger, operational since September 2020, within the Porsche Centre.

This charger is capable of delivering a maximum of 175kW to provide a near-full charge within 36 minutes, which is at least eight times faster than the fastest alternating current (AC) charger available at 22 kW.

SDM said the opening of the city was in line with its aim to establish itself as the leading automotive player in Asia-Pacific.

Brands represented are Porsche, BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Mini, Motorrad and Volvo which are in six flagship centres. There is also a pre-owned centre with an indoor facility of about 100 vehicles.

The facility includes Sime Darby Swedish Auto, the group’s latest partner which is responsible for Volvo Cars.

The Volvo flagship store has South-East Asia’s first 3S showroom to be equipped with a virtual-reality studio.

Mr Basham said SDM was excited to continue exploring new automotive business solutions and potential opportunities with its partners.

“Through Sime Darby Motors City, we are committed to playing an integral role in accelerating the growth of the regional automotive sector while contributing to the Malaysian economy,” he said.

By Neil Dowling