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2014 will be a ‘Year of Transformation’ for Perodua, a year where a new model will roll out of a new factory using new practices. The Perodua Global Manufacturing plant, scheduled to start operating in the middle of the year, will mirror Daihatsu Kyushu’s best practices, technology and low defect rate – we’ve detailed some of those in a visit to DKC’s Nakatsu Plant 2 last year.

New factory, new model, but Perodua’s management has been tight lipped on its new baby. When quizzed on the matter earlier today at a media familiarisation trip to its Sungai Choh headquarters, Perodua president and CEO Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh said that the “Global EEV” will be offered at a competitive price with added value, and that the compact car will have EEV-compliant fuel-efficiency.

EEV or Energy Efficient Vehicle, an integral part of NAP 2014, describes vehicles that meet defined specifications in terms of carbon emission level (g/km) and fuel consumption (l/100 km). Only the latter is applicable now, with kerb weight and fuel efficiency as the defining numbers.

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“We are in the midst of submitting our wishlist to the government in terms of incentives,” Aminar said. Yesterday, it was reported that three automakers have applied for EEV incentives.

“The fuel efficiency [of the new model] is much much better than [in the] current models we have,” the P2 boss told the press, addding that the car will be “compact but very spacious” and cantik dan menarik, Malay for pretty and attractive. He also hopes that the new model will achieve the kind of impact the Myvi did when it was introduced in Malaysia back in 2005.

This upcoming new model, which should not be confused with Perodua’s plans to test the water with a compact sedan (Buddyz Concept from KLIMS13 was a preview of sorts), is not a direct replacement for the ageing Viva, but a new model in Perodua’s stable.

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We reckon that while both will be sold side-by-side for a period of time, the older car could eventually be phased out, just like how the Kancil wasn’t immediately discontinued when the Viva came on board in 2007.

What we know for sure is that its upper body design will be a Perodua in-house effort, and that the car will have “features with a Malaysian taste”, both points revealed by Aminar today. This means that the actual car could look different from the regularly-spotted debadged Daihatsu Ayla mule. The new car’s interior was previewed at KLIMS13 via the GMA Space Concept.

Fellow local carmaker Proton is also set to roll out its P2-30A Global Small Car this year, so we could be looking at a big fight of the small cars in the horizon. Interesting times ahead.