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Talk to most analysts in the auto world, and they'll say that the recent rise of South Korean automakers like Hyundai and Kia have been an absolute blessing to the industry as a whole. Consumers now have an array of quality, inexpensive products, extra jobs have landed in rural areas of the deep south thanks to American-based manufacturing facilities and the competition from low-priced models have forced domestic manufacturers to up their game.

With American buyers just beginning to wrap their heads around inexpensive Chinese cars coming to market, a new free trade agreement between Malaysia and the U.S. promises to add a few unfamiliar names to the likes of 'Geely' and 'Brilliance.' The pending FTA (expected to be approved next year) could double two-way trade between the U.S. and Malaysia by 2010, paving the way for auto companies like Perodua and Proton to find access to U.S. roads.