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Tuesday July 21, 2009
By EUGENE MAHALINGAM
RAWANG: Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) is on track to sell 158,000 vehicles this year despite the current economic downturn, says managing director Syed Hafiz Syed Abu Bakar.
For the first-half year, Perodua sold 77,000 units (or 49%) of its 2009 sales target.
“We expect better sales in the second half of the year, especially with the festive season like Hari Raya when sales usually pick up,” he said at the Perodua Kancil phase-out and Viva 660 BX (Basic) line-off ceremony yesterday.
“In November, we will also launch our multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) and we will start accepting bookings from October.”
Syed Hafiz said the impact of the Government’s stimulus package would be more visible in the second half.
He said the low interest rates and strong financial system in Malaysia would make for a conducive environment for buying cars.
“Things are getting better for the local automotive industry,” he said.
Perodua yesterday rolled out its final Kancil, after 15 years of production. Since its launch in August 1994, 722,223 units have been produced and 708,000 units sold in Malaysia.
Syed Hafiz said the phasing out of the Kancil was a long time coming, in light of the technological advancements that were made since the car was introduced.
Initially, an average of 4,000 units were sold monthly. In October 2002, the company registered its highest sales with 7,700 units.
Its best seller now is the Perodua Myvi, which accounts for about 53% of total sales, followed by Viva with 42%. Lately, Kancil averaged monthly sales between 500 and 800 units.
“The compact wonder had a very good run but all good things must come to an end,” Syed Hafiz said.
Perodua also launched its Viva 660 BX (Basic) yesterday, which will be its new entry-level vehicle and the “replacement car” for Kancil.
The new Viva is available in three colours and costs RM25,300 (on-the-road, with insurance) and only available in manual transmission. Syed Hafiz said he was optimistic about the response for the new Viva.
On the Perodua MPV, he hinted that it would be priced between RM56,000 and RM67,000, available in both manual and automatic transmission and powered by a 1.5-litre engine.
The MPV would be targeted at both first-time buyers and “individuals with families,” he said, adding: “It is a car when you want it and an MPV when you need it.”
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