Perodua starts designing and developing own car

By THE STAR | 16 November 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) is working on expanding its research and development team to design and develop its own vehicles.

For a start, Perodua would have more involvement in designing the upper body of its upcoming sedan car.

“Based on our more than 20 years of partnership, Daihatsu has allowed Perodua to be more involved in the design and development of our vehicles.

“In this process there has been transfer of technical and engineering knowledge as well as transfer of technologies,” Perodua executive officer Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh told StarBiz.
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Daihatsu is one of Perodua’s major shareholders with a 20% stake and is also the latter’s technology and technical partner.

“We would like to leverage on Daihatsu’s more than 100 years of experience in the automotive industry to remain relevant and competitive,” he said.

Despite the big step in designing its own upper body part for its upcoming sedan car, Aminar said that Perodua would continue to share platform with Daihatsu and use Daihatsu’s engines and transmission based on existing and new technologies in future.

According to Aminar, who was at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, the sedan will have an upper body designed by Perodua’s team and the remainder of the car such as the engine and platform will still be from Daihatsu.

The automotive sector for this year is expected to record lower sales than last year, despite aggressive promotional campaigns.
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Perodua admits that the company is facing margin compression from its promotional campaign although the Perodua Axia variants are selling like hot cakes.

It has been reported that the total industry volume for automotives this year will probably hit a lower figure than last year’s 666,465 units.

Despite the bullish sales figure, Perodua is poised to hit its own target of 208,000 units.

Up to September, the company had sold 157,527 units, which is 12% higher than 140,317 units recorded in the same period last year backed by strong Perodua Axia sales.

To further strengthen its market share in Malaysia, Perodua has hinted to introduce new models from Daihatsu’s existing models.

“New product launches as well as launches of enhancement to existing product line-ups are planned mid-term to long-term.

“Actual launch dates will depend on many factors such as launch strategy, market condition, competitors’ movement and resources planning,” Aminar said.

Meanwhile, Daihatsu Motor Company Ltd senior managing executive officer, Shigeharu Toda said that Daihatsu would be involved in the engineering part of the car.

“Having the car’s upper body part designed by Perodua will create a better product that suits the Malaysian market,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the Tokyo Motor Show.

The 2015 Tokyo Motor Show was full of cars and sensational concept vehicles that would shape the future of driving.

While many Japanese car brands have displayed some really impressive high performance concepts cars, Daihatsu, one of the oldest Japanese carmakers, has taken its expertise in small-sized automobiles to another level.

One of four concept cars revealed by Daihatsu is stretching its concept of accessibility with its “Nori Ori” concept, directly translated as “getting in and out.”

The car has a low-floor, two-way access doors that can open widely and an electric ramp enables easy access for wheelchair and even strollers.

Its cabin has ample space to fit two unfolded wheelchairs.

Another eye-catching concept car is the D-base, which according to Daihatsu embodies its next generation compact cars.

Notably, the Mira has been long a base for Perodua models such as Kancil and Viva.

Daihatsu also introduced commercial compact vehicles, the Tempo concept car, which looks like a mini food truck equipped with a sales counter.

It is about 1,995 mm in height and could pass as a passenger car.

Daihatsu has also brought the 2015 Daihatsu Copen Cero, Daihatsu Move Custom and Daihatsu Tanto Welcome Seat to the Tokyo Motor Show.

The Copen model is a two-door roadster with an aluminium retractable hardtop.

Already in its third generation, the Copen model is powered by a 660cc turbocharged three-cylinder engine.

So would this cool looking roadster hit the Malaysia market soon?

At the current exchange rate, the Daihatsu Copen Cero costs between RM60,000 and RM67,000 before tax.

One of the most interesting features about the new-gen Daihatsu Copen is its removable resin body panels, which allow owners to change the look of the car any time and can be done on a DIY (do it yourself) basis at home.

Meanwhile, the Daihatsu Move Custom is the sporty variant of the Daihatsu Move model.

It is also powered by 660cc turbocharged three-cylinder engines.

This model could be become another variant of compact cars by Perodua for customers who like the Perodua Kenari.