Perodua Global Manufacturing plant to mirror Daihatsu Kyushu’s best practices, tech and low defect rate

Daihatsu Kyushu-8

Aside from bringing you live reports from the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, where Daihatsu unveiled the fascinating Kopen, Deca Deca and FC Deco Deck concepts, the trip to Japan also gave yours truly the chance to visit Daihatsu’s high-tech plant in Nakatsu, Oita prefecture.

Located on Kyushu island, with the nearest major city being Fukuoka, a two-hour flight from Tokyo Haneda, the Nakatsu plant is the headquarters of Daihatsu Motor Kyushu Co Ltd (DKC). Opened in 2004, Nakatsu gave Daihatsu the chance to design a flexible facility and systems from the ground up, all for making high quality, low cost cars, the raison d’etre of Japan’s oldest carmaker.

A second plant at the same site started operations in 2007, a year before the nearby Kurume engine plant started supplying powerplants to Nakatsu. DKC’s flagship factory, which is by the sea, even has its own two-kilometre private access to Nakatsu port, where cars are transfered from production line to ships directly for export or transport without using public roads.

Daihatsu Kyushu-1

Four kei-car models are manufactured at Nakatsu Plant 2, namely the Daihatsu Mira e:S, Mira Cocoa, Move Conte and Tanto Exe Custom, as well as the Mira with Subaru (Pleo+) and Toyota badges (Pixis Epoch).

Daihatsu Kyushu is growing in importance to the company – in its financial year 2012, DKC produced 451,000 cars. Its plants contribute 51% of Daihatsu’s total production and 61% of the company’s kei-car volume, and this trend is set to continue. Daihatsu has three plants on Honshu island – Ikeda (headquarters), Kyoto and Shiga.

The 53,000 sqm second plant at Nakatsu operates on the Simple, Slim, Compact (SSC) concept, a minimalistic approach that also characterises Daihatsu cars. SSC is throughly applied in each section of the plant, enabling it to achieve the same annual production figures as the first plant from slightly less than half the floor space. A smaller physical footprint means a smaller CO2 footprint, thanks to power savings from reduced air conditioning and a shorter, simplified production line. Cost of equipment is also 40% less.

Daihatsu Kyushu-6

We’re no strangers to modern car factories, but Nakatsu Plant 2 is an impressive sight by any measure. Robot density is very high (three times more than Plant 1) and the choreographed movements of the tightly clustered machines are eerily human-like. No pictures were allowed, so I can only suggest that you picture an F1 pit crew in action, but with three times the tasks and zero fumbles. Efficiency is paramount, and the number of processes have been halved compared to Plant 1.

DKC is also very proud of Plant 2’s ‘jigless’ system. While it’s not literally jigless, unique jigs for each model were replaced with general purpose jigs, so a rojak of models flow smoothly on a single body welding line. Technically, an infinite number of models can roll off a single line with such a system. Daihatsu also has its own method of transfering the work-in-progress cars from stage to stage using ‘slippers’, which save space.

The assembly shop, where humans far outnumber machines, has a sub-line system where items such as doors and engines are completed as a set before being fitted to the car body. This makes for a shorter and faster main line.

Daihatsu Kyushu-7

Speed is also gained from fewer processes (40% less) and having four workers on each process instead of just two. This increases work density per process as well as the ‘mutual aid process ratio’. Think of the latter as extra pairs of eyes to help, healthy competition and good company (it can be boring doing the exact same thing for the entire day) for team members.

Another C in SSC manifests in the form of a paint shop conveyor that’s only half the length of the conveyor in Plant 1, and among the shortest in Japan. Speaking of paint, DKC uses the 3-wet water-based paint tech that significantly reduces volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.

With the aim to be the world’s number one small car plant, Nakatsu Plant 2 is currently the Daihatsu group’s model factory in every aspect, from quality and productivity to space usage and care for the environment. Like the cars, it’s brillant packaging at work. But what does all this mean to Perodua?

perodua-gma-space-klims 144

In December last year, Perodua announced that it will invest RM790 million to set up a new plant adjacent to its existing factory in Sungai Choh, north of Rawang. Called Perodua Global Manufacturing (PGM), the new 65,000 sq ft plant will mirror Nakatsu Plant 2 in tech, practices, efficiency and low defect per unit (DPU) rate, with certain adaptations for Malaysian requirements, Perodua executive director Zainal Abidin Ahmad told us on the sidelines of TMS 2013.

All key features of Nakatsu Plant 2, from the jigless concept to slippers and water-based paint, will be emulated by PGM. Zainal Abidin sees 85% implementation at the start of production next year as a target. “But the most important thing is the human factor and the concept of monozukuri,” he admits.

On this front, a group of 130 pioneer staff is currently undergoing training at DKC, and will be the ‘trainers’ when they return. In addition, DKC’s Japanese personnel will be at PGM to assist the production line when operations begin. Like the plant itself, the new workers at PGM are expected to be more efficient than their counterparts in the old Perodua plant.

perodua-gma-space-klims 150

“We want to jump start immediately, start from day one on a global level. This new company will be a role model for our existing manufacturing plant,” Perodua president and CEO Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh said at the PGM announcement.

High quality and low cost will benefit the end user. “The new plant will have an improved DPU rate of 0.05 per cent, which is a world standard. We plan to achieve a world-class level through this new plant,” Zainal Abidin said, adding that the current DPU rate at Perodua is between 0.06 and 0.08.

According to him, the PGM factory is on schedule to be ready by mid-2014. At present, the physical building is 70% complete and should be finished in January, before machinery and installation commences in March.

When asked about the first fruit of the new plant, Zainal Abidin stopped short of naming the car, but said that Perodua’s next FMC (full model change) will roll out from PGM. We expect this to be the Perodua Viva replacement model, parts of which were previewed at the recent KLIMS13 motor show. The ‘new Viva’, likely to be powered by a 1.0 litre Daihatsu D26F-1KR-FE aluminium engine, should be ready for launch by the third quarter of 2014.

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Danny Tan

Danny Tan loves driving as much as he loves a certain herbal meat soup, and sweet engine music as much as drum beats. He has been in the auto industry since 2006, previously filling the pages of two motoring magazines before joining this website. Enjoys detailing the experience more than the technical details.



  • Petrolhead on Dec 01, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    R.I.P Paul Walker

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 53 Thumb down 15
    • Yea, RIP Paul Walker, was a true celebrity car enthusiast, even have some non-US street legal Nissan Skyline GTRs in his garage and knows how to properly drive one. Sad he wasn’t even driving the carrera GT when it happen, you’ll be missed.

      PS: Even I am against Out Of Topic comments, I’ll let this slide.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 8
      • SamShowedMeTheHilux on Dec 03, 2013 at 10:58 am

        Perodua can only dream to become like a Japanese plant. No way your workers can be as disciplined as the Japanese lah.

        In Malaysia, workers minum teh 5 times a day morning session. And while doing QC, all they talk about is which awek kilang they want to kongkek that day. Instead of concentrating and soldering parts, they are looking at the awek kilang.

        In Japan, the Japanese focus all the way. Their eyes are glued on their work. Concentrate maximum. No looking at girls or other factory girls. It is not law that they cannot look but the workers chose not to oogle and lust for women during work hours. Work is work. They solder also, they concentrate. Then they luch half hour only. During lunch also they discuss how to improve the process and QC. In Malaysia, during lunch also, talk about kongkek. Go to the Pintu Rintangan Api of the kilang, you can catch people romance at the tangga.

        So, how to be at par with the Japanese? Our attitude must change first. Can have all the investment lah but we can never mirror the Japanese. Face facts.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 20
        • Kongkek on May 08, 2014 at 11:16 am

          Same goes to you. like to kongkek oso, but i think u dont like awek la..what the hack they want to talk about work during lunch.its lunch time dude.crazy japanesse. hahha

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
    • presna on Dec 01, 2013 at 7:06 pm

      not exactly the best place for a RIP….

      anyhow, maybe a small announcement on for all motorhead fans of FF franchise?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 5
    • jibby on Dec 01, 2013 at 7:08 pm

      Who the f actually cares?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 52
    • R.I.P. Paul Walker on Dec 01, 2013 at 7:27 pm

      Also, drive safely and responsibly. Owning a supercar doesn’t mean you can drive it fast everywhere you wants.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 4
    • flat_tire on Dec 03, 2013 at 1:51 am

      wish it was bieber though..

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
    • Mark Fox on Apr 15, 2018 at 5:31 pm

      He was a child molester, but nobody minded because he was rich and handsome.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • if this the interior of new Viva will look like? if so its quite nice. but the exterior hopefully its nice…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 9
  • DR5Y4H on Dec 01, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    R.I.P Mr Paul Walker.Just a suggestion,can we make a special post in his honour?I know he was an actor,but he did convince me to buy a gold supra,a blue GTR,green evo.but i ended up with toyota wish.Family first!haha.i am one of the Fast and Furious generation,and i believe there’s a lot of us out there.Thanks PT.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 6
  • green on Dec 01, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Wait, Danny Tan.

    Anthony mentioned this:
    VRM (viva replacement model) will be based on the Ayla (and Toyota Agya) and not the Mira e:S….. source:

    reason, VRM resemble Toyota Agya, not Mira e:S.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 11
    • Danny Tan (Member) on Dec 01, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      Nowhere did I mention that the Viva replacement will be based on the Mira e:S :)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0
  • Bogdan on Dec 01, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    new viva 1.0 basic auto RM35k.. new saga 1.3 sv auto 37k.. overpriced viva.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 5
    • Low Budget on Dec 02, 2013 at 11:00 am

      Perodua is Japanese quality control method.
      Proton is Bolehland quality control method.
      Proton Saga has bigger back side than Viva and slightly more problematic, so take your pick.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 12
      • pirlo on Dec 02, 2013 at 3:20 pm

        you are just simply a proton basher and perodua fan/salesman. that’s why you gave a brainless comment about proton manufacturing plant. how shame.

        i am neither a proton fan nor proton staff. but i used to pay a visit to proton factory. it is not as per your imagination.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5
  • superbird #43 on Dec 01, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    the japs are very efficient in vehicle’s mass production

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0
  • sh!ro on Dec 01, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    ah jib promise viva 24k in 2014, is it it the 24k viva 2014…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1
    • Low Budget on Dec 02, 2013 at 11:05 am

      By the time the new Viva model roll out, the inflation rate would have been increased by 10%.
      So do you still expect Ah Jib Gor Gor to announce RM24K for 1.0L model? Unless there is ‘Janji di tepati’,I would think RM 24K for a 660cc Viva will be more appropriate.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
      • jacksonljs on Dec 08, 2013 at 11:10 pm

        Current ViVa 660 also priced at RM24k, but cannot turn on air-cond (same like Kancil 660), coz for me, even 850 Viva also underpowered as i tested before

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • jibby on Dec 02, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      i didn’t promise anything lorr. all i did was spreading lies only. please vote for me again in 2018. peace :p

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0
  • Berok Tua on Dec 01, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Perodua should learn why Daihatsu giving such a huge line-up compare to their own!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  • Fukuoka on Dec 01, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Welcome to Kyushu island, Danny. Oita is famous for its ‘onsen’, did you pay a visit? Your trip to Oita would be incomplete without one, especially now during the chilling autumn.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
    • and here I thought Hokkaido was famous for their onsen in Japan.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
    • Danny Tan (Member) on Dec 02, 2013 at 3:01 am

      Unfortunately, no. We had less than 24 hours in Kyushu, and travelling from Fukuoka to Oita and back took up a lot of time. One day, perhaps :)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
      • Low Budget on Dec 02, 2013 at 11:09 am

        Have u visited Proton manufacturing plant before? I heard the factory floor looks messy, with tools simply lay on floors and oil spills on floor too, just like a typical Ah Chong car repair shop.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9
        • Roy Mustang on Dec 02, 2013 at 2:23 pm

          You must have never been there for saying such things.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
        • pirlo on Dec 02, 2013 at 3:14 pm

          i heard that, i heard this. totally BS. not i’m defending proton or whatsoever. the malaysian mentality of hearing this and that without trusted source really makes me sick. even worse, there will be someone who read your comment, then spreading it out to other people from mouth to mouth without making proper checking.

          that’s why malaysian can’t progress.

          please. there are numbers of videos shown in youtube about tg malim and shah alam plant. you judge.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
  • Josh Ling on Dec 02, 2013 at 6:04 am

    it’s good to see a malaysian car company is taking such an initiative to reach world standard in manufacturing it’s cars.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  • PauKaya on Dec 02, 2013 at 7:19 am

    i don’t know why…these daihatsu cars…i really like it when i see them in japan or hong kong…but when they become perodua’s…its just sort of….boring

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3
  • Good quality, reliability, best practices, low defect. These are the words you never hear from Proton.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4
    • Proton staff on Dec 02, 2013 at 10:18 am

      Proton DPU in 2010 is 20. Yes, 20. This was for Waja, the first model Proton built from platform. Gen-2 DPU is 7. Huge decrease but still high.

      During Syed Zainal era, their DPU is down to 0.26. This is at the range of Perodua initial release of Myvi (0.2). I’m not sure the current rate of Proton’s DPU, because it was rated based on models. New model with low carry-over part have low DPU generally, not only Proton. New car with low carry-over parts will have high DPU, regardless any brand. This is the findings of JD Power.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3
    • Proton Staff on Dec 02, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      Proton DPU during Waja is 20. Yes 20. Gen-2 DPU is 7. Major decrease but still consider high.

      During Syed Zainal management, he managed to get low DPU as 0.26. Not sure which model. Current DPU for newer model like Preve/Suprima i’m not sure.

      As DPU will be quite high if the model have low carry-over parts, especially for new platform. This is true across all brand. JD Power have the findings, that it is not the brand, but the models.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2
    • pirlo on Dec 02, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      tin milo, cut cost but sell with high price, nvh sucks, unstable, plastic dashboard (good quality?), unreliable powertrain (reliability from P2? check your engine mounting rubber LH, RH, and RR after 50k mileage). these are the words you will hear from P2.
      but i do admit P2 assembly process and flow is better than P1 since DMC apply the same SOP into P2.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
  • ProtonFanboyism on Dec 02, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Proton is the best cars maker in our national and a well reputation in the globe.Proton throne the sales for many decade and never fall.Without proton we no good car to drive instead of junk from japan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 15
    • much defend. so fanboy. such bias. proton power. wow.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2
    • Hadi75 on Dec 02, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      You’re sure proton got good reputation around the globe???or you’re just dreaming???

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
    • At least it is not as junk as the Korean cars, most ugliest and dirtiest car in the world.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  • SgWay on Dec 02, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    If Perodua does not try to incorporate more safety features into its cars like ABD and airbags at affordable price, Malaysians will cosy up with Proton and KIA it brings in airbags,ABS and EBD into its entry level cars.

    The Proton GSC apparently will make saefty features as its core strength.Right now since the Persona SV has been launched, all Proton cars offer at least dual airbags, ABD and EBD with the Saga and Persona at sub RM50k.

    What does the rebadged Ayla and Agya got to offer? Japanese quality dashboard and plasyic do not safe lives.

    They should try to offer a variant that has at least 4 airbags, ESC and EBD/ABS if they dare to change and at not more than RM60k, if KIA can do it, why cant Perodua?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • b sensible on Dec 02, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    danny, you mentioned that the Nakatsu Plant 2 where the Robot density is very high. so in which part of the process they use a lot of robots? i presume the robots can detect any defects. otherwise they would not depend on the robots entirely.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • Danny Tan (Member) on Dec 02, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      No car factory depends on robots entirely. QC is done by humans

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • of course it is a good effort to bring in all these technologies however will japanese feed you 100% with their own intellectual property?? If copy maximum on their technology yet still just only rebadging work…
    another fundamental reality is car manufacturer that very depend on local market with small population is that able to grow bigger…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
  • mofaz on Apr 24, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    To those who not work in the automotive sector will only can give stupid and negative comments.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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