Naza Group of Companies has a total of 14 business divisions and is involved in motor trading, and automotive franchises. Founded in 1974 by a Malaysian business tycoon, Nasimuddin Amin, Naza was listed as one of the top 10 best car brands for 2009. Naza sold approximately 11, 419 units of vehicles the previous year (2.1 percent).
Besides automotive franchises, Naza also runs other businesses such as vehicle and bike manufacturing, transport services, property development, limousine services, engineering, cigarette distribution, water crafts and hotel operations.
Franchisee of few big automotive brands in Malaysia
As mentioned earlier, Naza is involved in automotive franchises and the group is a franchise holder for France’s Peugeot, Italy’s Ferrari, German’s Brabus, Ducati and Harley Davidson bikes and South Korea’s Kia. Based on Kia’s Carnival, Carens and Picanto, the group designed and launched several models such as Naza Ria, Naza Citra and Naza Suria to suit Malaysian market. Naza also developed Naza Sutera based on the unique Hafei Lobo. It was launched in April 2006.
Home-made global brands
One of the more well-known models under Naza’s belt is Naza Forte. Originally known as Kia Forte, the car was imported into the country and Naza group changed its name to Naza Forte. The car is available in 3 variants – 2.0 SX, 1.6 SX and 1.6 EX. This sporty car was designed by Kia’s Chief Designer Peter Schreyer.
Other models launched by Naza for Malaysian market are Optima, Rondo, Sportage, Sorento, Pregio, Ria, Citra and the small-compact car Picanto. Naza Picanto or previously known as Naza Suria is a low-cost car manufactured in South Korea by Kia Motors. This model undergone generational changes before it was launched in Malaysian market.
The group made into the limelight when Naza Malaysia established the largest automotive showroom in the country in August 2005. When founder Nasimuddin Amin passed away on May 1, 2008 due to lung cancer, his son Nasarudin Nasimuddin became Naza’s Chairman.
Naza Group entered into a new phase in 2000 after being awarded to distributorship for luxury motorcycle brand, Ducati. It was a year later that Naza started becoming a full-fledged auto assembler when it began making the Kia Spectra in Malaysia. This will lead to many other models from Kia and the success prompted more brands to follow when Brabus appointed Naza as the exclusive distributor.
It then pursued further and before long, the Gurun automotive manufacturing facility in Kedah was built and by 2003, a motorcycle manufacturing plant in Shah Alam was opened. That year, the first Naza Ria MPV was rolled-out from its RM500 million manufacturing facility, the NAM or Naza Automotive Manufacturing plant. This then led to the building of the Naza 206 Bestari, a joint-effort with Peugeot that would then lead to Naza assembling cars for the French automaker.
The widely-anticipated Naza Auto Mall was then launched 2 years later which put Naza as the largest importer of used and re-conditioned luxury models. Besides Ferrari and Harley-Davidson, Naza was appointed the exclusive distributor for Maserati in 2009 and a year later, Naza would start distributing the Chevrolet brand before expanding to involve the Piaggio Group as well.
Models by Naza
Besides the known models like Naza Ria and Naza Citra, the company has launched the Citra II Rondo which is based on the third generation of Kia Carens. Meanwhile, Naza’s foray into the Kia brand includes the usual Carens, Cerato, Mohave, Optima, Pregio and others. A whole list of Peugeot models are being marketed by Naza which include the 207, 2008, 408, 1007 and 604, among others.