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The Perodua Axia represents the company’s best-seller for the first quarter (Q1) of 2016, with 47,200 vehicles sold in the first three months. Meanwhile, Perodua stated that it captured 36.2% of the estimated total industry volume (TIV) of 130,000 in Q1 2016.

Although the marked increase showed a larger market share, Perodua president and CEO, Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh noted that sales (quarter-on-quarter) have fallen by 17.4% from 57,200 units last year. “On a month-to-month basis, Perodua sold 17,300 vehicles in March 2016 against 22,400 units in the same month last year, a drop of 22.8%,” Aminar said.

According to him, compared to the year before, customers were rushing to buy vehicles before the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) came into effect on April 1, 2015. This was the reason behind the higher sales figures for the first quarter of 2015.

“We estimated that the TIV in March 2016 fell by 29% to 47,700 from 67,300 units in the same month last year and this has resulted in Perodua’s market share increasing to 37.1% in March this year,” he disclosed.

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Based on the company’s internal research, the slower economy, the increase in vehicle prices by competitors due to the weakened ringgit and the chronic effects of the GST, were some of the primary causes behind the lower TIV.

Elsewhere, Perodua’s after-sales business was up by 7% or 515,343 intakes in Q1 2016, compared to 481,627 intakes in 2015. Parts revenue are also up by 4% to RM65 million in Q1 2016 compared to RM62.5 million in 2015.

Production volume however, is lower at 48,300 vehicles produced in Q1 2016 from 60,100 vehicles from a year ago. “The lower production is due to some carry over stock from 2015 as well as the slower pace of the economy in the first quarter,” the president and CEO explained.

As for exports, Aminar stated that Perodua would steadily increase its numbers, with the newly launched Myvi and Alza in Brunei. “For Q1 2016, we have exported 1,600 vehicles to six countries, an increase of 55.8% from 1,030 vehicles in the same quarter last year. We aim to steadily grow our regional reach as we further improve our operations to become globally competitive,” he said.

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“While we are glad to improve our market share, a bigger ratio of our sales is coming from the lower variants of our models, which enjoy smaller margins, hence the impact to our bottom line,” Aminar stated.

On profits, Aminar disclosed the that the impact of the US dollar against the ringgit and sales volume mix, still represents a big challenge in meeting Perodua’s target.

While there appears to be signs of economic improvement with the increase in prices of crude oil and the strengthening of the ringgit (the US dollar particularly), the company remains cautious. “We will continue to monitor the situation and at this point are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to achieve our key targets, particularly our sales target of 216,000 by year end,” he concluded.