Sales Record

Since the 1990s, SUVs have grown in popularity phenomenally – to the extent that event at the topmost segment of the market, manufacturers such as Rolls-Royce have had to include such models in their range. And further evidence of the importance of this type of vehicle can be seen in how many carmakers have chosen it to be the first bodystyle for their new electric vehicles.

Even among supercar manufacturers, demands for SUVs is evident from their customers and an example can be seen in the Lamborghini Urus setting sales records. Labelled by the company as a ‘Super SUV’, the Urus has set the record of being its best-selling model in the shortest time ever. Since its market debut in 2018, 20,000 units have been produced, with the 20,000th unit being delivered to a customer in Azerbaijan.

“From the first moment we presented the Urus concept at Beijing motor show in 2012, to its market debut in 2018 and each year since, the Urus has proved its instant and continued appeal as a true Lamborghini, born from our super sports heritage and the world’s first Super SUV, the LM 002,” said Stephan Winkelman, Automobili Lamborghini Chairman & CEO. “The Urus is a perfect complement to our super sports model ranges, providing a luxurious and high-performance daily drive for those who identify with our authentic Italian brand.”

The overall growth in global sales has been impressive, reaching the record of 8,205 units delivered in 2019 – that was double the volumes achieved in the period before the Urus went on sale. From 2018 to the end of 2021, a total of 16,000 SUVs were delivered worldwide to 5 continents, with 85% of customers being new to the marque.

Catalyst for transformation
The Urus has been the catalyst for doubling company volumes and the size of the factory has gone from 80,000 to 160,000 square metres. To manufacture more efficiently, Lamborghini Manufacturing 4.0 was established as an innovative approach to production technologies to support assemblyline workers. In 2019, the Urus paintshop was inaugurated and since 2020, the Urus supply chain became more sustainable through replacing the Urus bodies’ transportation by truck with train, and the cut of CO2 emissions by 85%.

The environmental initiative followed the announcement of Lamborghini’s ‘Direzione Cor Tauri’ future global program, involving a complete switch to hybrid technologies by 2024 and the vision for a new fully-electric model in the second half of the decade. Cor Tauri starts from a holistic vision of the company’s sustainability strategy: a 360° approach that spans from the products to the entire factory site, from production lines to offices.

Adventures all over the world
Over the past 4 years that the model has been on sale, it is estimated that Urus owners around the world have covered more than 360 million kilometres in total. Where Lamborghinis were once only seen on highways, the Urus gives owners new adventures away from the highways. Besides many private journeys, events organised by Lamborghini have seen the SUV travel along the highest roads to the most extreme off-road environments. To prove that it can ‘Unlock any Road’, the Urus has set a new high-speed record for ice-driving on Russia’s Lake Baikal and going up the world’s highest driveable road (India’s Umling La pass at 5,884 metres).

Soul of a super sportscar, functionality of a SUV

The Urus continues to have a 4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine delivering 650 ps at 6,000 rpm and 850 Nm of torque at 2,250 rpm. With 162.7 ps/litre, it boasts of one of the highest specific power ratings in its class, as well as the best weight-to-power ratio of 3.38 kgs/ps. This enables it to go from standstill to 100 km/h in a claimed 3.6 seconds and reach 200 km/h in 12.8 seconds, after which it will top out at 305 km/h.

After paying so much for an Urus, it is to be expected that customers will spend a bit more to personalise their SUV. For this, Lamborghini has its Ad Personam services which offer special exterior colours as well as other exclusive options.

Lamborghini Owners Malaysia aims to set new record for the largest number of Lamborghinis at an event

The latest Isuzu D-MAX is clearly a winner for Isuzu Malaysia, having set a national sales record last month with 1,233 units delivered around the country. That was the company’s highest ever monthly sales since being established in 2005. The new figure eclipses the previous record of 885 units recorded in December 2014 following the introduction of the D-MAX 3-litre V-Cross.

Although the industry has been facing difficulties in getting enough vehicle stocks, Isuzu Malaysia was fortunate to get a large shipment of vehicles which enabled it to address the backlog of orders that began almost from the time the third generation model was launched.

According to the Chief Operating Officer of Isuzu Malaysia, Kenkichi Sogo, the boost in deliveries allowed the company to relieve some of the customers’ waiting time for their new vehicles. “Our customers depend on Isuzu vehicles to serve them faithfully so, as a customer-centric brand, our priority was to hasten supply to meet the increased demand for this highly-popular and versatile pick-up truck,” he said. “I wish to thank our customers who have eagerly and patiently waited for their brand new Isuzu D-Max. We hope to continue ramping up supplies over the coming months to further reduce the waitlist for our vehicles.”

The increased supply that was achieved through additional allocation from the factory meant that the top variant delivered in March was of the 1.9-litre Premium Auto variant, with close to 350 units. The Premium Auto variant offers stylish design, excellent driving performance, premium interior features and the lowest roadtax in its segment, which is why it is the popular choice.

Demand for the flagship X-Terrain variant was also met with an increase of 163 deliveries. However, this version is one of the most popular globally and so supplies have been limited. It has advanced safety and comfort features which can be compared to passenger cars, so it is ideal for personal use as well as workhose duties when needed.

An Isuzu 3S dealership in Taiping, Perak

The strong performance in March would have pleased the company’s new CEO, Shunsuke Okazoe, who emphasises the need to prioritize customer satisfaction through improved sales and aftersales efforts. Mr. Okazoe, who has been involved in the Isuzu business for the past 26 years, has served in various countries such as Japan, America, India and Thailand. He aims to strengthen the Isuzu network and build greater customer satisfaction in Malaysia.

“While Isuzu Malaysia is still a relatively young company, our customer base has grown significantly in the past 17 years. Isuzu’s strong brand reputation, dependable product line-up and a strong support network has helped us create a very strong platform for growth. Our immediate aim therefore will be to enhance our support system in tandem with the growing population of Isuzu customers,” he said.

Isuzu Malaysia currently has a network of 54 outlets positioned strategically in populated centres around the country. It will soon embark on a network enhancement exercise with its authorised dealers to ensure customers enjoy a more comprehensive experience in a conducive and comfortable environment.

Switching to the trucking lifestyle with the Isuzu D-MAX X-Terrain

20 years ago, Perodua’s average monthly sales were around 7,800 units; 10 years ago, the monthly average rose to 15,000 units and the brand was No.1 in the market with a 30% share in 2011.

In October 2021, Perodua delivered 27,858 vehicles throughout Malaysia, setting a new record after the last record of 26,848 vehicles was set exactly 12 months earlier. For this achievement, the brand has been given a listing in the Malaysia Book of Records.

The new record comes with improved production and swift deliveries of vehicles to customers as the Malaysian carmaker is trying to deliver as many vehicles as possible in the fourth quarter of 2021.

The 27,858 units consisted of 8,761 (31.4%) Myvis; 5,973 Axias; 5,257 Bezzas; 3,973 Ativas, 2,553 Alzas, and 1,341 Aruz. For the first 10 months of this year, Perodua delivered 146,951 units, 14.5% less than the 171,861 units reported in the same period of 2020.

“This achievement is our commitment towards our customers and represents a 90.67% increase from 14,160 units sold in September 2021. We are now working to further improve production, especially for the rest of the year,” said Perodua President & CEO, Dato’ Zainal Abidin Ahmad said.

Together with the sales record, the month of October also saw the highest ever number of vehicles made at the two factories – 29,803 units. According to Dato’ Zainal, this output was beyond Perodua’s current production capacity, yet the staff was able to boost their productivity with the same level of quality without new people, equipment or machinery.

“I wish to take this opportunity to thank the Perodua staff who have gone beyond their best to ensure that our customers receive their Perodua vehicle as quickly as possible,” Dato’ Zainal said.

He added that the company is constantly mindful of both the safety and health aspects by ensuring that all employees follow the COVID-19 prevention guidelines while, at the same time, ensuring that they go beyond all quality requirements.

The Myvi remains the brand’s bestselling model and accounts for almost a third of total sales.

On the extension of the sales tax exemption until the end of June 2022, Dato’ Zainal said it is most welcomed as it will allow the automotive ecosystem more room to recover from the recent lockdown as well as catch up with demand.

“The extension of the Tax Sales Exemption will also benefit everyone, from consumers to vehicle manufacturers to suppliers, who are also affected by the global semiconductor supply shortage,” he added.

“The remaining two months will be a challenge as both Perodua and its ecosystem are still facing supply challenges due to the ongoing pandemic and we sincerely thank our customers for their patience and understanding in terms of vehicle delivery,” he said.

Perodua sales picking up but sales target for 2021 is lowered by 10.8%

BHPetrol RON95 Euro4M

2019 was a great year for Perodua as it surpassed all previous sales volumes with a total number of 240,341 vehicles delivered. The volume was 5.8% higher than the figure for 2018 which had been the prior record. The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) will be releasing the full year’s sales data tomorrow but by Perodua’s own estimates that the Total Industry Volume (TIV) for 2019 was 604,775 units, the Malaysian carmaker’s share would have been 40%, an increase of 2% from 2018.

Announcing the achievement, Perodua’s President & CEO, Dato’ Zainal Abidin Ahmad, said that all five models in its range – the Alza, Aruz, Bezza, Axia and Myvi – were segment leaders, with the Aruz notable for being Malaysia’s best-selling SUV with 30,115 units sold.

Perodua showroom

Export growth to get more attention
Continuing with its efforts on exports, the total volume sold in other countries last year was around 2,825 units, of which 1,800 units of the Myvi were purchased by Daihatsu and sold under its brand in Indonesia. To date, Perodua exports to 7 countries and Sri Lanka is its second largest overseas market where the Bezza was the bestselling sedan in the sub-1.0 litre segment.

Perodua in Mauritius
The latest Myvi introduced in Mauritius attracted a lot of attention.

“While our exports remained modest, we are making good progress in establishing our brand overseas and are looking at further improving the numbers this year,” said Dato’ Zainal. He said that the government has urged Perodua to export more of its vehicles. However, there needs to be proper market studies to ensure that the products are the right ones (at the right price levels) and the marketing done properly. Since 2018, Perodua has stepped up its attention to exports after having been busy on its transformation and cost-competitiveness activities earlier.

Healthy aftersales business continues
Given the position at the lowest end of the market with the most affordable vehicles, it would seem that Perodua customers are probably going to buy one or two and then move upwards to other brands as their personal financial circumstances improve. They would also be less likely to continue using the aftersales services available from Perodua, believing that it’s cheaper to go to the smaller independent workshops.

Perodua service centre

However, Perodua’s figures show that there is a fairly high rate of retention in the aftersales business. Since 2015, service intake has grown by some 20% and while this would also be in tandem with the rising annual sales volume, there are still many owners who continue to return to Perodua’s service centres even after many years. Last year, the service centres nationwide handled over 2.35 million vehicles.

“We have the largest vehicle sales and service network in Malaysia. Our intention is not so much to expand further but to enhance the facilities we already have by working closely with our dealers for the benefit of our valued customers,” said Dato’ Zainal. “In this respect, the company is working with its dealers, which currently make up 75% of its sales and service network, to invest and upgrade facilities.”

Supporting local suppliers
Both Perodua and Proton have had the obligation of helping to develop the domestic automotive industry, particularly the suppliers so that parts and systems can be obtained locally. Perodua has been diligent at this and has consistently helped its suppliers to grow and remain ‘healthy’. Even in difficult market conditions when sales have slowed down, Perodua has stepped in to assist in various ways so that the vendors do not have serious financial problems that impact their ability to deliver on time and maintain quality.

Transmission production
Transmission production at a factory in Negeri Sembilan.

Last year, Perodua purchased around RM5.4 billion worth of parts from suppliers and at least 90% of the parts in its vehicles are local content. The suppliers themselves not only enjoy steady business from Perodua but a few are also supplying to Daihatsu factories overseas, an indication that Malaysian suppliers can also produce world-class products that meet the stringent quality demands of Japanese manufacturers.

Dato’ Zainal said he welcomed the healthy competition from Proton as it will only serve to motivate and strengthen Perodua. Furthermore, as Proton’s volumes rise, the suppliers will also prosper and be able to achieve better economies of scale with bigger orders from both carmakers. This will also help them lower their prices, a win-win situation for manufacturer and supplier.

Looking ahead
While the government expects GDP growth to be 4.8% in 2020, Perodua is cautious about its sales performance at this time until some issues – like the new National Automotive Policy – are clearer. So for now, the forecast for numbers remains at 240,000 with a market share target of 40%. Production volume is planned to rise by 4.1% or 10,000 units in anticipation of increased exports as well as fulfilling the backlog of orders for certain models.

Perodua Kancil
Providing affordable cars for Malaysians has been one of Perodua’s constant objectives from the time it started.

With regard to price increases predicted in the near future (due to a revision of taxation for vehicles), Dato’ Zainal gave assurance that this won’t happen for Perodua products right away. “Our mission has always been to provide affordable vehicles and we would not just pass on any increases to customers. We will address the situation by ‘counter-measures’ to try to keep prices stable for as long as possible,” he explained.

On new models to be launched, he did not elaborate on specific models although the market is buzzing with rumours of a new compact SUV designated the D55L. This is said to be based on the Daihatsu Rocky launched in Japan last year and sits on the DNGA (Daihatsu New Generation Architecture) platform.

Daihatsu Rocky
New Daihatsu Rocky launched in Japan last year is expected to be the basis of a new compact SUV model. How close will the Perodua version look to this?

However, Dato’ Zainal did share with us the product direction of the company which takes into account industry trends which could give clues to what the future product will have. In the slide, there were four subjects – Connected, Autonomous, Shared Services and Electric. These hint at features like cruise control which is a form of autonomous operation and might even be advanced cruise control with adaptive speeds. As it is, the A.S.A. driver assistance system already has autonomous capability such as automatic braking so Perodua may be able to get more advanced systems at a cost which allows them to be offered without raising the price.

‘Electric’ doesn’t necessarily mean an electric powertrain and Dato’ Zainal mentioned ‘downsizing’, the industry trend of reducing engine sizes but maintaining or improving performance through using direct fuel injection or turbocharging. Well, as it is, Perodua engines started off with an 850 cc engine in the Kancil and its range has had the smallest engines all this while. So they can’t get any smaller but adding an electric motor as a hybrid powertrain or using an electric compressor could be under study now.

Much of the advanced technology development would be done either by Daihatsu, its technical partner, or the suppliers. But where design and upper body development are concerned, Perodua R&D aims to further increase its capabilities. Since the development of the first Myvi, when Perodua was a ‘junior partner’ in the project which also involved Daihatsu and Toyota, the Malaysian carmaker’s capabilities have grown steadily. It reached a point where Malaysians could develop the Bezza sedan which is a model that you will not find in the Daihatsu range. Bear in mind that even adding a boot to the Axia involved engineering competence and it was not just a ‘cut-and-weld’ exercise.

Dato’ Zainal revealed that Daihatsu Indonesia has also called on Perodua R&D to assist in product development for models sold in Indonesia. He said that it is hoped that Perodua can become the ASEAN hub for Daihatsu where R&D is concerned. While Daihatsu’s operations in Indonesia are larger, they are more focused on production whereas Perodua has made bigger investments on R&D facilities.

Aerial view of the Perodua complex

“We have invested RM1.4 billion to date, which is higher than what Indonesia has spent on R&D, and we plan to continue investments in this area. Some of the money will go into extending the test track to 5 kms so that testing can be more comprehensive. Therefore, we hope that Daihatsu will consider making Perodua its R&D hub for ASEAN while Indonesia could be a production hub,” he said.

Perodua has a strong position as market leader, which it certainly deserves. But it is not going to take this dominance for granted and ‘relax’ and even though Proton, its closest rival, is intent on regaining its No.1 position, Perodua will stay focused with its own strategic plans for the coming years.

Perodua centralises production of parts for old models with RM7 million investment


Subaru USA has reported that August 2017 has been its best sales month in the company’s history. It stated that 63,215 vehicles have been sold in that month which accounts for a 4.6% increase compared to the same period last year.

This marks the first time that the automaker has managed to shift this many vehicles in one month. The previous sales record was in December 2016, when the company sold 63,177 vehicles in total.

This has helped bolster Subaru’s sales yearly figures even further with an 8.1% percent increase with 423,728 vehicles sold, compared to the same period in 2016. This also means that August marked the 42nd consecutive month with 40,000+ vehicle sales for the company.

Demand for models like the Crosstrek, Impreza and Outback were considerably strong, Even its niche sports car, the BRZ, enjoyed a surge in sales compared with August 2016. This means that the trust of US car buyers have in the brand is growing with each passing year.

“It was our 69th consecutive month of yearly, month over month sales increases. Our retailers gave a truly exceptional effort and we are on pace for our 9th consecutive sales record,” said Jeff Walters, senior vice president of sales, Subaru of America, Inc.

“The Crosstrek easily had its best month ever and we welcome the all-new 2018 model with the introduction of its advertising and marketing campaign in September that we know will resonate with customers,” he later added.

Subaru has had a strong presence in the US car market for several decades and is considered one of the most sort after/ trusted Japanese brands. Here in Malaysia, demand for Subaru vehicles have started to increase as well, thanks to enticing new models with relatively affordable price tags.

Today is a very important day for Škoda because it marks the production of the 1.5 millionth third generation Octavia. Based on the Volkswagen MQB platform, the car shares its underpinnings with the Audi A3 Mk3, SEAT Leon Mk3 and Volkswagen Golf Mk7.

“With the Octavia, the rapid development of our company really gathered pace from 1996,” said Michael Oeljeklaus, Board Member for Production and Logistics. “It has been an important pillar of the Škoda portfolio for over two decades. With the third generation of our bestseller, we have seamlessly built on the success story of the first two editions. Much of the credit for the success of the OCTAVIA and the Škoda brand goes to our motivated and highly skilled workforce, which now has 1.5 million reasons to be proud of its achievements.”

The first generation car was a stalwart of the Škoda line-up from 1996 to 2010 bringing in a total sales of 1.4 million cars. The Czech automaker launched the second generation car in 2004 but sold the original alongside it till 2010. And, by the time the mk2 car had been phased out in 2013, Škoda had accumulated a total sales figure of 2.5 million vehicles sold. Its successor joined the line-up in 2012 and by the end of 2016, almost 1.4 million vehicles were produced.

The facelifted version started rolling off the production line in February of this year and is manufactured in the Czech Republic, China, India, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. It is being offered as a hatchback and an estate version. The front and rear sections of the facelifted car differ from that of the pre-facelift version, which gives rise to a wider track and a more streamlined body.

The new car brings with it a number of improvements in terms of interior space, functionality, technology for safety and comfort as well as value for money. Power outputs of the petrol and diesel engines range from 85bhp to nearly 245bhp and some of these can be ordered with a DSG gearbox and all-wheel drive.

In total, Škoda has sold more than 5 million Octavia vehicles since the launch of the original car in 1996 and it hopes that those numbers will continue to grow larger as the years pass.


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