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Is Axia the name of Perodua’s upcoming new model? Possibly, but it has not been confirmed by the carmaker. “Axia is not the only name we submitted,” said Perodua president and CEO Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh when quizzed by the media at the launch of a new parts centre this morning.

“We have not yet decided on the name. Wait for the announcement, which will be sometime in the second half of the year,” the P2 boss added.

Questions about the new model’s name arose after this website found a trademark filing by Perodua to the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO). The filing was for the mark ‘AXIA’ under car-related categories.

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What we know about the new model so far is that it is Perodua’s “first transformation model”, the first fruit of the company’s efforts to transform and adapt to the new automotive ecosystem, where competition is rising for local players. The Global Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) is a compact five-door hatchback that will exist alongside the Viva, giving Perodua a four-model lineup when it debuts later this year.

“The fuel efficiency [of the new model] is much much better than [in the] current models we have,” Aminar told the press last month, 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.

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The new model will roll out from the Perodua Global Manufacturing plant, which is currently under construction at a plot next to P2′s existing factory. PGM, which is 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.

Axia or not, we’re looking forward to the new model. Proton’s Global Small Car, another five-door hatch, is also set to debut later this year, so it’s going to be a significant year for the Malaysian auto industry.