SEMENYIH, Nov 11 -- Bus transportation services provider Terus Maju Services Sdn Bhd (TMS) is investing about RM50 million to set up a manufacturing factory in Seremban to meet the increase in demand of buses, including electric buses (e-buses), for the ASEAN market.
Managing director K S Loo said the first phase of the factory, which will be built on a 8.5-acre site, is expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2021, with the initial production capacity of 400 buses and up to 600 units in its full phase capacity.
“We are optimistic of growing the potential of the ASEAN’s market demand in the next three years. After having exported buses to Singapore and Myanmar, we are now eyeing Laos, hopefully, before the Chinese New Year next year, followed by Cambodia and Vietnam,” he told reporters.
Loo said this after a handover ceremony of TMS’ first eight TMS12 bus models of the TMS Chassis product line to customers and the signing of an agreement with China’s Zongtong Bus Holding Co Ltd and Myanmar’s LA Coach Master (Myanmar) Co Ltd here, today.
The event was witnessed by Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook.
TMS, which previously operated an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) system for various automotive companies, is now able to produce 95 per cent of its own components at its factory here, while importing the remaining parts.
On the collaboration with Zongtong Bus, Loo said the Chinese partner would bring in advancement in the transfer of engineering technology to TMS in producing e-buses.
“We will run a pilot project next year to see the success of the e-bus (project) and determine our next planning, including production of the buses,” said Loo.
Zongtong Bus, which boasts a total asset of 150 billion yuan (RM1=1.69 yuan), has been selling its products to over 100 countries.
Loo said although an e-bus may cost around US$250,000 (US$1=RM4.138) per unit compared with RM480,000 for a normal bus, it is good in terms of environmental protection and has lower maintenance costs.
On the agreement with Myanmar’s LA Coach Master, Loo said the company has purchased 50 left-hand drive buses of various models from TMS, which are being delivered in stages.