Daihatsu and Perodua’s latest joint venture, the Daihatsu Perodua Engine Manufacturing (DPEM) plant, was officially opened this afternoon by Negeri Sembilan chief minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

The ceremony was also attended by DPEM chairman Tan Sri Asmat Kamaludin, Perodua president and CEO Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh and executive VP of Daihatsu Hiroyuki Yokoyama.

The RM500 million facility is located in Sendayan TechValley near Seremban, Negeri Sembilan. With a land area of 35 acres, the 142,000 sqm plant is adjacent to the Akashi Kikai transmission plant that was officially opened in June 2015.

Akashi Kikai supplies Perodua with automatic and manual transmissions for the Axia and Bezza, while DPEM makes 1.3L engines for the Bezza. Casting, machining and assembly work are done here. Operations started in May this year, on schedule.

DPEM produces the Bezza’s 1.3 litre 1NR-VE Dual VVT-i engine

Asmat said that DPEM has two OEM customers so far, and is looking for more manufacturers for it to supply components to. Besides Perodua, we understand that the other customer is Toyota, and the engine made here is the Dual VVT-i NR engine, which comes in 1.3L and 1.5L variants. The plant’s capacity is 216,000 units per year, and 35,000 engines have so far rolled out from DPEM, over 90% of those going to Perodua.

“With full liberalisation of the automotive industry imminent, it makes sense to tap into the potential for growth within the ASEAN region where most of the economies located here are looking to flourish over the next few decades.

“For now, we are focused in making the right first steps; of preparation and improvements and hopefully we will see the returns in a relatively acceptable timeframe,” Asmat added, referring to both Akashi Kikai and DPEM.