We’ve just passed the half way mark of 2017, and as far as Malaysian auto market leader Perodua is concerned, things are according to plan. The company announced in a business briefing today that it sold 99,700 vehicles in the first half of 2017. Its full year sales target, which remains unchanged, is 202,000 units.

The nearly 100k cars sold is an increase of 2.4% compared to the 97,400 units sold in 1H 2016. Based on P2’s own estimates, Malaysia’s total industry volume (TIV) from January to June 2017 would be 284,200 units, which translates to a market share of around 35.1% for the Rawang-based carmaker.

That share of the pie is around the same as end 2016, when Perodua finished the year with 207,100 vehicles sold and its highest ever market share of 35.7%.

Of the 99,700 units, the Axia maintained its position as both Perodua and Malaysia’s best selling car with 32,600 units. The Bezza sedan found 28,300 new homes while P2 sold 24,000 units of the Myvi, which recently reached the one million unit milestone. 14,700 units of the Alza MPV were shifted. All four models top their respective segments.

“Based on our internal observation, the TIV has improved by 2.3% to 284,200 for the first half of 2017 compared to 275,500 vehicles in the same period in 2016,” said Perodua president and CEO Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh, who attributed the jump to aggressive sales campaigns by almost all automotive players as well as new models. Carmakers were also clearing stock from 2016.

The main challenge for Perodua is a longstanding issue. “Despite the improvement in sales, we foresee that the tighter lending guideline (by banks) is still by far our greatest challenge to overcome as most of our customers are first time buyers,” he added.

The loan approval rate is still around 50%, which is low, according to Perodua Sales MD Datuk Dr Zahari Husin. The sales chief said that to counter this somewhat, sales staff have been told to not just collect as many bookings as possible, but to do some filtering of customers, in terms of financial profile and capability. Higher quality submissions will improve loan approval ratings from the banks. At the same time, P2 is engaging the bankers to learn the criteria applied, and improve accordingly.

In the after sales department, Perodua saw an intake of 1.02 million vehicles in the first half of the year, a year-on-year increase of 1.2%.

The company is currently having a Salam Syawal campaign with cash rebates of RM1,000 for the Axia, RM1,300 for the Alza and RM6,000 for the Myvi, for selected variants. The campaign will run till July 31.

There’s also a “Myvi 12 Iconic Years Anniversary” campaign that runs from now till end October, offering a total of RM120k in cash and vouchers. Each purchase, service or trade-in gains one entry, or three if any of the transactions involve a Myvi. Details can be found on P2’s official website or at dealersips.

At today’s event, Aminar said that Perodua is “seriously considering” rolling out a compact SUV. “SUVs seem to be the flavour of the day,” Aminar said, adding that “it is not out of our range and we’re studying the feasibility of introducing such a model.” Full story here.