Today we end our journey with Kawasaki as we turn the page to start a new chapter with a fresh vision and contemporary direction. It has been a wild ride for us, with many lessons learned, together with all the ups and downs that have shaped us into who we are today. During this time, we have not only formed strong relationships with our employees and associates, but also improved ourselves drastically as people, becoming more resilient, like a butterfly hatched from a cocoon. Looking back on what we have experienced in the past 3 decades and all that we have accomplished as a company, we are nothing short of excited for what’s in store for us, especially with the resources we have acquired and the connections and skills we have developed.
En Ahmad Faez bin Tan Sri Yahaya (Group Executive Chairman) &
Dato' Jeffrey Lim Chee Sing (General Manager & Director)
Sayonara Kawasaki, Hello KMSB
New Business Chapter
Turning The Page
THE FIRST CHAPTER
Kawasaki has been established in Malaysia for more than 40 years, a household name in the world of superbikes. However, that wasn’t the case when we first started out as Danmotors Malaysia Sdn Bhd, which was the brand pioneer in the mid-1970s as the first Kawasaki franchise in Malaysia. Danmotors, an abbreviation for Danish Motors, was steered by their then stakeholders, East Asiatic Company, Med-Bumikar Mara and Permodalan Nasional Berhad. Then, in 1985, Danmotors Malaysia Sdn Bhd was renamed to Kawamotors Malaysia Sdn Bhd. Kawamotors, a short form of Kawasaki Motors was continuously managed by Permodalan Nasional Berhad and Safeguards Security Sdn Bhd.
THE RISE OF KAWASAKI SUNROCK SDN BHD (KSSB)
From left: Tan Sri Mohd Salleh bin Sulong (Deputy Chairman DRB-Hicom),
The late Tan Sri Yahaya bin Ahmad (Executive Chairman DRB-Hicom),
Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad (4th Prime Minister of Malaysia) &
Dr Hiroshi Ohba (President Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., Japan)
22nd June 1995
In December 1987, Kawasaki Sunrock Sdn. Bhd. (KSSB) was incorporated as the third Kawasaki franchise holder in Malaysia, whose shareholders were led by the late Raja Dato’ Nong Chik Bin Ishak, the late Tan Sri Yahaya Bin Ahmad, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. Japan and the Nissho Iwai Corporation.
Sunrock, the English translation for Nissho Iwai, is actually a combination of two words, Nissho, meaning ‘Sun’ and Iwai, meaning ‘Rock’. It was formed by two people of the names, Nissho and Iwai.
From Late 1988, KSSB begun its CKD operations (Completely Knocked Down) with models ranging from 80cc to 150cc as well as importing CBU motorcycles with an Approved Permit (AP) import license. This era introduced the Malaysian markets to popular models such as the Kawasaki AR80, AN90, KS100 and AR125
In 1993, KSSB expanded its operations by investing in a 5-acre motorcycle assembly factory in Port Klang in order to meet demands for the 115cc K-1 Moped model. The factory was also responsible for the introduction of the trendy ZZR 250, Eliminator 250, Vulcan 500 Cruiser, ZXR 250 and the legendary KR150 sports bike.
Then, in late 1996, the Malaysian Government started a new initiative and introduced The National Motorcycle and Engine project, MODENAS, a Joint venture between Diversified Resources Berhad (DRB) and KHI. With this change in policy by KHI, KSSB was reduced to sell non moped motorcycles of capacity 150 cc & above only.
The Asian region had been devastated by the financial crisis during the late 1997 which had significantly impacted the economy in several ASEAN countries, including Malaysia. In the aftermath of the Asian Financial Crisis that occurred the year before, there was a very low demand in big bikes due to the public’s financial woes, resulting in KSSB having to cease its operations in 1998. Hence a workforce of 400 employees had to be diminished to only 28 people.
Sometimes between 2001 and 2003, KSSB was in collaboration with KHI in the development of a new harvesting machine named “Tuah Chop-Cutter” for the oil palm industry. This was the first invention in the world.
Between the years 1998 and 2004, KSSB had entered “hibernation” phase with a very modest workforce.
Official Dealer's Ceremony Kawasaki Sunrock Sdn Bhd Manufacturing Plant
15th April, 1993
KAWASAKI SUNROCK SDN BHD, ENLIVEN!
Starting from 2004 to 2007, with persistent request to KHI, KSSB was finally allowed to liven up a small CKD operation at its Segambut premise and thereafter KSSB had surged ahead with great achievement in the years that had followed.
In 2007, things started looking up for KSSB which encouraged them to relocate from Segambut in Kuala Lumpur to Glenmarie in Shah Alam. At that point, KSSB had decided to move to a bigger facility to locally assemble big bike models ranging from 250cc to 650cc.
By now Sojitz has sold their share equity to KHI and no longer used the “Sunrock” name, hence KSSB changed their name to Kawasaki Motors (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd or KMSB for short.
From left: The late YM Raja Dato' Hanipuddin bin Raja Nong Chik (Executive Chairman, KMSB),
Mr Takeshi Sugawara (General Manager, Supply Chain Division CPMC, KHI)
YB Tan Sri Muhyddin bin Yassin (Minister of International Trade and Industry) &
Dato' Jeffrey Lim Chee Sing (General Manager & Director, KMSB)
A LEGEND REBORN
On 10th June 2008 marked the rebirth of Kawasaki Motors Malaysia with the official opening of its new office and factory facility in Glenmarie, Shah Alam by the MITI Minister of that time, YB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Bin Mohd Yassin (who went on to become the 8th Prime Minister of Malaysia). The tagline ‘Legend Reborn’ aptly signified KMSB’s return to the motorcycle industry and their perseverance in the face of adversity. Armed with its new business direction, KMSB decided to focus on the premium motorcycle sector with models such as the Superbikes.
The Malaysian biking community was invigorated by the introduction of models such as the Ninja 250, ER-6n, ER-6f, VERSYS 650, Z250 and Z800.
Since the introduction of “Legend Reborn” until today, KMSB has developed themselves into a unique brand, after heavily investing in Kawasaki brand name and pioneering the first Kawasaki Flagship Concept Store, Kawasaki Display Corner and various other first in the motorcycle retail industry. KMSB further invested into Kawasaki Exclusive Service Centre (KESC) as well as Kawasaki Pit Stop Service Corner (KPS) to elevate the Kawasaki brand and image to the next level.
KMSB actively participated and supplied Kawasaki motorcycles more than 7,000 units between 90cc ~ 1400cc to various government agencies such as Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), Malaysia Armed Forces (MINDEF), Fire and Rescue Department (BOMBA), Road Transport Department (JPJ), Municipal Councils and others.
In addition, KMSB invested in the Kawasaki Technical Training Centre, a collaboration with technical colleges for aspiring Big Bike mechanics & technicians to gain hands-on experience at KMSB’s Training Centre and workshop.
KMSB also introduced the Road Assist Program, which is an exclusive motorcycle breakdown coverage for Kawasaki owners that offers 24-hours a day, 7 days a week roadside assist, up to 600km free towing service on its big bikes with no additional charges. In addition, KMSB introduced a course for big bike owners where they learn to ride their motorcycles safely and ride responsibly.
A FINAL NOTE OF THANK YOU
On behalf of KMSB Motors Sdn. Bhd. (KMSB), we would like to extend our most sincere and heartfelt appreciation to those who had invested their trust and faith in us for the past 33 years. Our principal Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. Japan, Shareholders, Stakeholders, Government Agencies, Bankers, Finance and Credit Institutions, Insurance Agencies, Kawasaki GT World Ninja Dealers, Kawasaki Ninja Dealers, Kawasaki Green Station Dealers, Stockists & Workshops, Vendors, Members of the Media, dedicated employees and beloved customers.
We could not thank you enough for your support in all these years and your never-ending assistance in building our company while helping us achieve numerous milestones. As we move forward, we will continue to strive and be the best version of ourselves as a collective and as individuals. With that being said, we wish for your continuous support as we continue our journey towards our new chapter of success.
Moving forward, we will be diversifying our business into a model with “5 Pillars” which consist of one Japanese Brand, two European Brands, one EV Brand as well as having our very own home grown ASEAN Brand. We will adopt these “5 Pillars” to achieve our vision of a capable and profitable corporation for the long run. May we continue to enjoy more success together.
KMSB Motors Sdn. Bhd.
(Formerly known as Kawasaki Motors (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.)