Mattel, the American toy and entertainment company, has over a dozen factories around the world which makes its various products, with the Hot Wheels model cars probably the best known. And of its main factories in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico and Thailand, the one in Malaysia is the largest Hot Wheels manufacturing plant in the world. Malaysia therefore plays an important role in Mattel’s supply chain for the company’s manufacturing, tooling, and commercial operations.
The plant – Mattel Malaysia Sdn Bhd (MMSB) – located in Perai, Penang, was established in 1981 and is also the world’s only manufacturer of Hot Wheels singles, the top-selling toy globally in 2021.
Currently producing around 9 million diecast car models each week for markets around the world, MMSB is aiming for a 20% increase in production capacity by 2025.
To enable this, it will be making additional investment for plant expansion which will be completed in 2023. This announcement coincides with the 40th anniversary of MMSB and is a targeted, strategic investment is in line with Mattel’s Capital Light strategy to increase manufacturing capacity, improve productivity, and leverage technological capabilities, while reducing cost and enhancing operational efficiencies.
The plant expansion is estimated to increase the total workforce by approximately 10% to nearly 4,300 workers at MMSB (currently around 3,900). The expansion will also benefit Mattel Development and Tooling Sdn. Bhd. (MDT). Established in 1985, MDT is Mattel’s second plant in Malaysia and a state-of-the-art facility for product development, digital model making, mold design, and manufacturing.
Proton Saga to join Hot Wheels
In conjunction with Mattel’s continued investment and commitment to its Malaysian operations, Steve Totzke, President & Chief Commercial Officer of Mattel, announced that Hot Wheels will be collaborating with Proton to produce a 1:64 diecast scale model of the first Malaysian National Car. The new addition to the Hot Wheels range will be sold worldwide.
Speaking at the 40th anniversary ceremony this morning, Ching Chiau Lee, General Manager of MMSB, said: “MMSB plays an important role in our global supply chain operations, providing a strategic footprint in the region and supporting our transformation strategy for growth as an IP-driven, high-performing toy company. Over the last 40 years, we have succeeded in developing a thriving ecosystem for the local industry in the Perai Free Industrial Zone across industries such as packaging, paint, material supplies, and machine design.”
“Today, we celebrate and reaffirm our long-term presence in Malaysia. We are excited for our future as we continue to exemplify progress in the technology-driven Malaysian manufacturing sector,” she said.