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Written by: Staff

KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 21 (Reuters) Malaysian car retailer and hotel operator Naza Group will launch on Saturday a locally developed passenger car that it intends to export, the New Straits Times newspaper said.

Company officials could not immediately be contacted for comment.

Naza, which sells vehicles including those made by Kia Motors Corp <000270.KS>, plans to assemble and sell 30,000 units of its new car each year, with 10,000 earmarked for export, the paper said on Friday.

Naza is assembling the car at a plant in central Pahang state.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is to attend a ground-breaking ceremony on the island of Penang for a 1.2-billion-ringgit ($328 million) assembly plant that aims to start rolling out cars next year, the paper said.

Developed and styled by Naza in collaboration with Italian, British and South Korean designers, the car is to be priced at around 35,000 to 40,000 ringgit.

Naza, which has said it plans to list this year, aims to launch a second new car next month, fashioned after the Peugeot 206. It plans annual production of 10,000 units of this model, with about 3,000 being exported in the first year.

The launch will make Naza the only privately owned developer of a local car for export. National carmarker Proton Holdings Bhd and Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd, or Perodua, both have government assistance, the New Straits Times said.

($1=3.6620 ringgit) REUTERS CS BD0907

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