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Bufori cars: What makes the Malaysian luxury auto so special?

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In the past three years, orders for his Buforis, which he says is the only fully handmade car produced in Asia, have steadily risen 15-20 percent each year.

"China and Middle East are probably our two biggest markets right now," said Khouri, adding that he also gets orders from Southeast Asian countries, Hong Kong, Japan and Europe.

"There's a lot of promise here -- that's what brought us to Malaysia and kept us here," Khouri said. The country hosts Bufori's only plant where customers can visit to see their cars being made. Showrooms are found in Sydney and Shanghai.

"The beautiful thing is I get to see it built from the beginning to end, like watching a baby growing up," said Tan.

Khouri, who built his first car in his backyard at only 21, says that while the Bufori kept its trademark classic designs, the cars' performance itself is "in a class of its own".

The Geneva, a 4-door luxury limousine with elegant curves and a long running board, is powered by a 6.4-litre V8 engine boasting up to 470 horsepower and 630 Newton meters (Nm) of torque.

"These are exclusive, very elite. You've got to be very special to own one of these cars," he said.

But Khouri admits that the long waiting list can push some customers to competitors such as Bentley and Rolls Royce.

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