The triple disaster that hit Japan in March has severely affected the automotive industry, as carmakers and their various levels of vendors saw production disrupted or stopped completely in the aftermath. Overseas CKD operations aren’t spared, as vital parts still come from Japan.

But of those affected, Perodua seems to be weathering the storm pretty well – and as proof, the company is maintaining its 2011 sales target of 195,000 units, instead of lowering the figure. This was announced by Perodua MD, Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh in a media briefing this morning, where he also declared that plans for the launch of the new Myvi is on track and not affected by the Japan disaster.

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As to when the sequel to Malaysia’s most popular car will be launched, he was tight-lipped, but did let slip that September 2011 would be too late, as the new Myvi will be the main factor in hitting the 195k target. We’re into May already, so it could be anytime from now till August – stay tuned!

As you can see from the graph below, there’s some catching up to do in terms of figures. Aminar said that by June/July, Perodua’s production will ramped up to make up the shortfall, with overtime thrown in. By the way, throughout this period since March, production in Rawang was still at two shifts, and the only slow down was the removal of daily and weekend overtime.

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The fact that Perodua is so lightly affected is down to a few reasons, chiefly the high degree of localisation (up to 90% for their latest model, Alza) and the priority given to Perodua by stakeholder Daihatsu. Malaysia is the biggest market for Daihatsu outside of Japan, so this makes sense.

Among the affected parts are 23 engine components and accessories from Japan, as well as the paint supply, but as mentioned, Perodua expects production to be fully normalised from June, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Aminar also said that the Japan disaster might expedite the process of making more components locally. As previously revealed, an E-AT (electronic automatic transmission) plant will be built here (location not yet finalised), and it will churn out gearboxes for local consumption before exports start.

Construction of the RM200-250 million plant will start in the fourth quarter of this year. This will help Perodua reduce costs as part of the company’s preparation for market liberalisation.