Perodua expects to sustain 2016 export growth performance this year

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 9): Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) expects to sustain its export growth performance this year as seen in 2016, said its president and chief executive officer Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh.

Last year, the country's biggest carmaker sold 4,696 vehicles overseas, a 6.12% increase from 4,425 cars in 2015.

"We aim to be able to sustain our (export) sales performance this year, if not do better," Aminar Rashid told reporters after launching the second phase of Perodua Eco-Challenge 2017 here today.

"In the first five months of this year, Perodua managed to export 1,600 cars. Growth of our exports this year will be anchored by positive demand in Sri Lanka, as well as other international markets," he said.

This follows the recent launch of its Bezza 1.0L model in Sri Lanka, which is currently the compact car maker's largest export market.

"Perodua expects to be able to sell from 80 cars to 100 cars of each Axia and Bezza per month. In the long run, we hope to be able to sell around 2,000 cars to 2,500 cars in Sri Lanka," said Aminar Rashid.    

Besides Sri Lanka, Perodua also exports its cars to five other countries, namely Indonesia, Singapore, Mauritius, Fiji and Brunei.

Perodua's export strategy is one of the thrusts espoused in its second five-year business plan, dubbed Transformation 2.0 Roadmap, which it will be rolling out this year, following the expiry of its Transformation 1.0 Roadmap that was launched in 2011.

Chief in Perodua's second transformation plan is its aspiration to be a regional auto player by 2021, Aminar Rashid said.

However, he added Perodua will first extend its footprint in existing markets, before making an aggressive move to expand its international markets, particularly in Asian countries, which adopt the right-hand drive system. 

"We are giving a priority to countries with similar regulatory environment, covering aspects such as safety and carbon emission. We will also consider other factors that include market expectation and product line-up," he said, adding Perodua will at some point, revisit its long-paused plan to expand its sales in Thailand and South Africa.

"Other important thrusts in the second transformation agenda is improving and enhancing the automotive ecosystem, particularly with vendors and suppliers," he added.

On its car sales for 2017, Aminar Rashid said Perodua is "cautiously optimistic" on the upcoming performance, keeping to its earlier forecast of selling 202,000 cars this year, which is lower than the 207,110 cars it sold in 2016.

"We will be announcing our sales performance for the first half of this year, in the next few weeks. But for now, I am keeping to my earlier forecast," Aminar Rashid added.

From January to April this year, data from the Malaysian Automotive Association showed Perodua sold 64,727 cars — a 4.27% increase from the 62,079 cars it sold in the same period last year.  

Perodua's sales of its cars in the first four months of this year made up 31.25% of its total sales last year, which was at 207,110 cars. It is also equivalent to a market share of 35.3%.