Perodua had a media briefing in KL this morning, revealing its 2011 performance and targets for this year. In a difficult year for the auto industry, the brand once again became the top selling marque in Malaysia, shifting about 180,000 vehicles in 2011. Retaining this title means that Perodua has been top of the tree for six consecutive years now.

The 180k figure is slightly down from the record breaking 188,600 vehicles sold in 2010, but then the total industry volume (TIV) also fell from from 605,156 to just below 600k units. Perodua’s market share also saw a slight decline from 2010’s 31.2% to 30%.

Exports grew from 4,000 units in 2010 to 8,000 units last year. Perodua revealed that Sri Lanka is its top export market now, taking over from UK. Bosses say that once overall cost is further lowered, exports will be ramped up, with a target of 20,000 units by 2015, or about 10% of total output. For 2012, they plan to export 10,000 cars.

Of the 180k local total, Perodua sold 81,904 units of the Myvi, which retains its title as Malaysia’s best selling car, 60,675 units of the smaller Viva, and 37,402 units of the Alza, which is the biggest car it sells.

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2011 saw the introduction of the new Myvi in June, before Perodua wheeled out the “Lagi Power” 1.5-litre Myvi SE and Extreme in September. The Myvi is also exported CBU to Indonesia as a Daihatsu Sirion, launched at IIMS in July.

It wasn’t an easy year to launch such a big model, with the launch coming so soon after the triple disaster (earthquake, tsunami, nuclear) that hit Japan, but the company pulled through (Perodua MD Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh singled out partner Daihatsu for their efforts) and reclaimed lost ground with the popular new Myvi.

Among other obstacles they faced were the amended hire purchase act that came into effect mid 2011, the weak global economy, a strengthening Japanese yen and the recent Thai floods, although effects from the latter was minor compared to the Japanese disaster.

Looking ahead, Perodua sees 2012 as cautiously positive. Datuk Aminar revealed the target of a 4% sales increase to 188,000 units on the back of network growth and “aggressive promotions” throughout the year. Besides new competitors, Perodua sees inflationary pressures, slower growth and Bank Negara’s credit tightening measures (Malaysia’s household debt levels are very high) as challenges.

At the event, Perodua also announced a new flagship 3S Centre to be located in Section 19, Petaling Jaya. This RM30 to 40 million facility will be the model for future sales and service centres in Malaysia and abroad. It will also be the central region’s hub in the company’s new “decentralization” approach. Construction will start in March or April and it’s expected to start operations in 2013.