Malaysia’s Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua (Perodua) will begin construction of a new automatic transmission plant by the fourth quarter, with output targeted to get under way by late next year.

The auto maker initially announced plans for the new plant in December.

The exact location of a facility is undecided, but it could be built near Perodua’s car-assembly operation in Selangor, Managing Director Aminar Rashid Salleh is quoted as saying.

Perodua currently imports the electronically controlled gearboxes from technical partner Daihatsu in Japan.

“We will be relocating the facility from Japan to Malaysia,” Aminar tells The Star newspaper.

“We expect to begin production by the fourth quarter of 2012,” he says, adding output will be targeted for the domestic market “for the first few years,” with exports to follow.

The relocation and construction of the plant will cost RM200 million-RM300 million ($66.6 million-$99.9 million).

Aminar says moving production to Malaysia will help lower costs.

“It is part of our 5-year roadmap to become more efficient and competitive,” he says.

The plant will have an initial capacity of 130,000 units before expanding to 200,000 annually.