General Motors Co.’s new Malaysian distributor, the Naza group of companies, is setting a sales target of 1,600 units for the Chevrolet brand in the first year.

Naza Joint Group Executive Chairman Faisal Nasimuddin says the two companies also are discussing the possibility of complete-knocked-down assembly operations of some Chevrolet models at Naza’s plant in Gurun, Kedah.

“We will explore all possibilities apart from profitability in turning our partnership into a very successful business proposition,” the government’s Bernama news service quotes Faisal as saying.

The Naza deal was inked in January following a decision by GM and DRB-Hicom Bhd to end their joint-venture operation to import and distribute Chevrolet vehicles in Malaysia.

The new partners plan to import the South Korean-built 1.8L Chevrolet Cruze into Malaysia by the second quarter of this year, aiming for sales of 1,000 to 1,200 units.

Faisal says the group aims to increase its eight dealerships to 18 by the end of this year.

GM Southeast Asia operations President Steve Carlisle says he’s confident GM has found the right partner because of Naza's position in the Malaysian automotive industry, its capability, track record and forward-looking corporate philosophy.

“We seek to raise the bar and focus on providing the best cars with the latest in technology and design with a combination of CBU (completely built-up) and CKD, and aftersales service,” Carlisle says.