If you drive past Ara Damansara in Selangor often enough, you'd have noticed a brand new set of interconnected buildings, each a grand facility for an automotive brand. It is called Sime Darby Motors City (SDMC). And although it has already been operational for a while now, it wasn't officially launched till yesterday. So, what is this hypermarket of high end cars all about?
If you didn't know already, Sime Darby is a massive player in the Malaysian automotive industry. It distributes vehicles across ten brands through six of its subsidiaries, namely Sime Darby Auto Bavaria (BMW, Mini and Motorrad), Auto Connexion Ford, Auto Connexion Jaguar Land Rover, Auto Hyundai, Auto Performance (Porsche) and Swedish Auto (Volvo). And each of these six companies has been given its own multi-storey flagship centre which combine to form the largest automotive complex in Southeast Asia, or so the group claims.
It's hard not to believe those claims when the smallest centre of them all, which belongs to the Volvo dealership, occupies a whopping 106,908 square feet of built-up space. On the other end of the spectrum, the latest Auto Bavaria flagship centre boasts 447,193 sq-ft, making it the largest BMW Authorised Dealership in the region. There's also a smaller (35,510 sq-ft) centre dedicated to Sime Darby Auto Selection's used car operations. In total, SDMC occupies 8.6 acres of land with an overall built-up area of 1.3 million sq-ft over eight floors.
Given its sheer size, the entire complex can have over 180 showroom vehicles on display at any given time. There are currently almost 200 service work bays across all brands, and this figure is expandable if needed in the future. To keep all of this going, SDMC is manned by 998 employees. And with that many people and cars in the complex, parking is essential: there are 1,299 bays scattered across the complex, 700 of which are fully dedicated to the customers.
SDMC is also said to be sustainable and future ready, particularly with regards to its electrification infrastructure. For starters, four of the flagship centres (BMW, Hyundai, Porsche and Volvo) are currently equipped with designated areas for EV charging, storage and repairs, with specialised EV-certified technicians in the frame as well. Sime Darby Auto Performance is the first in Malaysia to provide a fast DC high performance charger (175kW) for its customers, specifically those who purchased a Porsche Taycan. The entire complex is also a Green Building Index (GBI) certified facility.
Which of these showrooms are you most interested to visit?