Fresh from exceeding its sales target for 2017, Perodua has started the new year flying out of the blocks. The market leader sold 17,693 units in January 2018 – against an estimated total industry volume (TIV) of 43,930 units, that’s good enough for market share of over 40%, the highest ever monthly share of the pie for the company. Its market share for the whole of 2017 was 35.6%.

“This was spurred by deliveries of the new Myvi, as well as continued strong demand for our other models,” Perodua president and CEO Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh said at a Chinese New Year luncheon with the media and business partners yesterday.

Many Myvi customers wanted to register their new car in the new year, giving January numbers a boost. However, the cars weren’t waiting to be delivered – there were only two units of carry over stock from 2017, meaning that almost all of the 9,029 Myvis registered last month were fresh off the production line, manufactured in 2018.

Perodua has so far collected 48,000 bookings for the Myvi, of which close to 20,000 units have been delivered. Aminar and Perodua Sales MD Datuk Dr Zahari Husin presented a mock key to the 18,000th new Myvi customer – Wong Wai Cheng of Negeri Sembilan – at yesterday’s event.

“To those who have placed orders for the new Myvi and have yet to receive their cars, we sincerely apologise for the wait. Rest assured that we are ramping up production to get the cars to you as quickly as we can. The plant will continue to work overtime until demand stabilises,” Aminar said.

It was revealed last month that the plant has been working overtime on weekdays and on alternate Saturdays to fulfil demand, which is overwhelmingly skewed towards the 1.5L, at 83%. As Perodua’s original projection was 55:45 for the 1.5L vs 1.3L, production has been readjusted accordingly. “We’re invested in the 1.3L and will be looking to push this variant,” Zahari said, adding that there are exclusive vendors for the 1.3L, and this situation, if prolonged, is not good for the suppliers.

“This performance has been a great boost to the Malaysian automotive ecosystem as the better-than-expected demand for our latest offering as well as our current model line-up have resulted in better demand for local parts,” Aminar said, adding that the Rawang-based carmaker is looking to purchase more than RM5 billion in components and parts this year from mainly local vendors. That’s more than the RM4.8b to RM4.9b spent annually in the past two years.

The new Myvi made it to our annual writer’s Top Five list. Find out more about the homegrown hero in our written and video reviews.

GALLERY: Perodua Myvi 1.3 Premium X in Peppermint Green Metallic

GALLERY: Perodua Myvi 1.5 Advance in Granite Grey Metallic