NexV Manufacturing Sdn Bhd (NMSB), a joint venture company between Malaysia-based glove maker Careplus Group Berhad and the automotive solutions provider GoAuto Group Sdn Bhd, will start the construction of a MYR 600 million ($129.17 million) green technology facility dedicated to manufacture and assembly of new energy vehicles, including electric vehicles (EVs) in Malaysia.

The duo said in a statement on Friday that the facility is aiming to commence operations beginning in the first quarter of 2025, and creating new employment opportunities and investments in the region within and adjacent to Negeri Sembilan of Malaysia.

According to the statement, the plant will have a capacity of 30,000 vehicles per year, in which one third will comprise the assembly of NETA models through the joint venture between Careplus and Intro Synergy Sdn Bhd (a GoAuto subsidiary).

The plant will not only assemble NETA vehicles, but will be open to other NEV brands intending to carry out completely knocked down (CKD) assembly of passenger and commercial EVs or electric motorcycles.

Phase one of the project involves the development of an assembly plant, expected to begin in the first quarter of 2024.

Meanwhile, phases two and three will begin in 2026 and 2028 respectively, expanding to an even bigger production capacity of 50,000 units per year.

The first phase of the facility will create more than 600 skilled and semi-skilled jobs with specialization in EV manufacturing, especially in the use of smart manufacturing technologies, including automation, system integration, robotics, cloud-based plant management, industrial IoT and other technologies synonymous in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

As operations are scheduled to start in early 2025, recruitment and training of the plant’s workforce will commence as early as August 2024.

Parallel with the production of green vehicles, the plant will also utilize eco-friendly solutions, such as technologies that produce zero wastewater discharge, zero noise pollution, while solid waste will be processed through recycling centers within the facility.

A significant portion of factory’s energy will also be powered by solar panels to be installed on the roof of the plant.

Apart from Intro Synergy Sdn Bhd (the sole distributor for NETA brand), the HIGER and YUTONG brands (distributed by GVT Sdn. Bhd., a joint venture between W&R Resources Sdn Bhd and Careplus Group Berhad) will work with NMSB to assemble for all models locally produced under these brands.

It is noted that Intro Synergy and Hozon New Energy Automobile Co. Ltd. (the principal company that produces NETA) exchanged a CKD agreement, as collaborations for CKD operations in Malaysia.

NMSB also exchanged a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Qingdao Huayue Guotai New Energy Car Co. Ltd. To explore new opportunities for New Energy Vehicles in Malaysia and ASEAN.

“We hope that with the assembly of NETA V model, more Malaysians will be able to accept and support the products produced by Chembong”, said Careplus Chief Executive Officer Lim Kwee Shyan.

According to the statement, NMSB had obtained its interim Manufacturing License from the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI), through the Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA) in October 2023.

The firm had also recently received the Development Order (Kebenaran Merancang) to commence construction of the manufacturing plant from Rembau District Council.

“We take pride in the extensive support this project has garnered from both state and federal governments, contributing to its rapid progress in advancing local assembly and localization efforts within the country,

“We believe that this represents a significant stride towards fostering greater acceptance and awareness of electric vehicles in the future,” said Go Auto Chairman, SM Azli SM Nasimuddin Kamal.

Meanwhile, MIDA Chief Executive Oficer Arham Abdul Rahman said the green technology facility meant to augment national EV targets defined by the Low Carbon Mobility Blueprint (LCMB) and National Energy Policy (DTN).

It also complements the aspirations described in the National Automotive Policy(NAP) 2020 and the New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP) 2030, he added.

He also said the facility showed NMSB’s commitment to innovation, green energy and industry leadership, advancing Malaysia’s status as a major player in the EV industry while placing the nation at center stage as a pivotal global impetus.

Careplus who has been listed in Bursa Malaysia since 2010, has been involved in latex glove making for more than 35 years.

To date, the firm’s production capacity reached 5.32 billion units per annum, with various glove types such as latex examination dan surgical gloves.

Today, it has four latex glove plants, all located in Negeri Sembilan.

In 2023, Careplus officially joined new businesses based on green and renewable technology, developed with business partners GoAuto Group.

GoAuto Group is a group of companies with 100 percent Bumiputera equity.

Established in 2013, the group’s core business centers on automotive products – where the company is actively involved in manufacturing, assembly, sales, distribution, after sales services and spare parts in various vehicle segments such as passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, special vehicles, and electric vehicles.

The GoAuto Group also supplies vehicles for government and GLC use.

The group is also an exclusive distributor of electric vehicles for passenger and commercial vehicle brands NETA, HIGER and YUTONG.

Careplus partners GoAuto to set up EV plant in Malaysia