RAWANG: Malaysia’s second national carmaker Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) is in talks with the government to participate in the realisation of the third national car project.
Perodua president and chief executive officer Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad said Perodua has the capacity to be a possible contract manufacturer for the project.
“Perodua has given a proposal to the government on its vendor system, which could be beneficial to the project, ” he said following a signing ceremony between the Malaysia Automotive Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii), Perodua, the Perodua Suppliers Association and Perodua Dealers Association earlier yesterday.
International Trade and Industry Senior Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, who was present at the event, said the third national car project is still ongoing.
“Despite having a new government, the project is still on, ” he said.
Back in February, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that a prototype for the third national car was ready and that the government was waiting for private investors to invest in the development of the project.
Dr Mahathir said Malaysia was open to working with foreign companies to develop the new national car, adding that Malaysia already had the experience, having developed both Proton and Perodua with Japan previously.
It was previously reported that DreamEdge Sdn Bhd, the anchor company to drive the third national car project, was aiming to unveil its first prototype by March this year.
DreamEdge is an engineering services company catering to various industries such as automotive, rail, electronics, energy, defence, precision equipment and tooling design.
MARii chief executive officer Datuk Madani Sahari (pic below) said the vehicle be revealed later this year.
Perodua closed the month of June with 21,250 vehicles sold, its highest monthly sales figure this year and nearly triple that of the previous month’s.
The carmaker’s year-to-date sales total stands at 74,000 units.
Zainal said it would be difficult to forecast the outlook for the automotive industry for the rest of 2020, in light of the uncertainties and challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s difficult to predict, but we will strive to continue doing our best and make sure that the ecosystem will continue to survive. We had made an initial forecast and yes, there has been a slowdown in sales. But for now, our strategy for the remainder of 2020 is to stay with what we had targeted to achieve before the movement control order (MCO).”
In January this year, Perodua targeted to sell 240,000 vehicles for 2020. At the moment, Zainal said sales could fall between 15% and 17% this year from the original target.
Perodua is however, expected to make an official announcement on its 2020 sales target later this month.