Friday, May 16, 2008

Perodua To Come Out With A Bigger Model Next Year

Perodua To Come Out With A Bigger Model Next Year

KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 (Bernama) -- Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua), after launching its new sports utility vehicle (SUV) Nautica Friday, is looking to offer another 'bigger' model next year.

Its managing director, Datuk Hafiz Syed Abu Bakar, said the new model would either be in the SUV or multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) segment.

"Our target is always to come out with a new model every year such as in 2005, Myvi, 2007 Viva and in 2009... there will be something big.

"This is because the average life span of a car here is between four and five years. So if Myvi (was launched) in 2005, then come 2009 and we don't come up with something, they (the car buyers) will say goodbye and go to other car manufacturers.

"So, we definitely has to catch them next year. Thus, we are looking to grow our family (Perodua's cars) bigger than now," Hafiz said after the launch of Nautica by Perodua chairman Tan Sri Asmat Kamaludin, here.

He said to make the local vehicle market more interesting between 2007 and 2009, Perodua has to introduce something like the Nautica and later this year introduce a facelift from one of its existing models.

The new Nautica, a completely-build-up SUV from Japan, is a high premium compact urban SUV. It replaces the Perodua Kembara which had seen 77,884 units sold since its launch in 1998 until production stopped in 2006.

Priced at RM89,900 on-the-road, the SUV vehicle is powered by dynamic variable valve timing, double overhead camshaft, electronic fuel injection engine and a standard four-speed automatic transmission.

Asked whether Perodua would benefit from the current high oil prices, he said: "There is the good and the bad part for the company."

He said in 2006 the US car sector saw a reversal in vehicle ownership trend where the light trucks and big cars dominated the market.

"But now, everything has changed following the high oil prices, where the ratio is 50:50 big and small cars.

"I think by year-end, it (the percentage) will see the smaller car segment controlling the US vehicle market and the same is likely to be seen here," he said.



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