Perodua will be taking the lead in designing the upper body for its upcoming sedan model. Not directly based on a current Daihatsu model, the booted car will be a first for the Rawang-based carmaker, which has been into hatchbacks since the Kancil. Logically, mechanicals such as the platform and engine will be from Daihatsu.

The topic was brought up at the recent 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, where Perodua president and CEO Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh joined the media for a dinner hosted by Daihatsu Motor Company’s senior managing executive officer, Shigeharu Toda.

“Based on our more than 20 years of partnership, Daihatsu has allowed Perodua to be more involved in the design and development of our vehicles. In this process there has been transfer of technical and engineering knowledge as well as transfer of technologies,” Aminar said.

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“We would like to leverage on Daihatsu’s more than 100 years of experience in the automotive industry to remain relevant and competitive.” he added, affirming the relationship between Perodua and partner Daihatsu. DMC has a 20% stake in Perodua and more significant shareholding in the manufacturing side of P2’s business.

Perodua having a growing design role for local models is nothing new, and is a continuation of the trend from the Myvi and Axia. It is something that DMC encourages, too. “Having the car’s upper body designed by Perodua will create a better product that suits the Malaysian market,” Toda said.

No word on when the sedan will eventually surface, though. In July, Aminar said that the sedan’s development could take as much as 36 to 48 months, as there is a lot of local R&D input. “It’s not going to come that soon, that’s all that I will say. It will come, yes, and we think that it’s going to be a good product,” he said then.

GALLERY: Perodua Buddyz Concept from KLIMS 13