It wasn’t very long ago that market share of around 35% was groundbreaking stuff from Perodua. But is above 40% the new normal for Malaysia’s auto market leader?

The maker of the Myvi started 2018 flying out of the blocks, and scored its first over 40% monthly share in January (17,693 units). With four months of car sales done and tabulated, Perodua has sold 75,500 units in January to April 2018, which is good for a market share of 41.6%. Perodua’s April market share was 43%, the highest ever monthly figure in the company’s history.

It’s not just the slice of the pie though, as sales itself went up by 16.8% compared to the same period last year. The strong sales results were supported by an increase in bookings, which rose 14.2% to 113,900 units.

On the production side, Perodua’s two plants in Sg Choh rolled out 71,300 cars in the first four months of the year, 14.6% more year-on-year. These figures were revealed by Perodua president and CEO Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh at the company’s annual buka puasa with the media yesterday night.

Despite the strong start to the year, Aminar said that Perodua’s 2018 sales target of 209,000 units remains unchanged. That’s understandable, given the uncertainties that lay ahead for the car industry – there will be two sets of price changes in the coming months with the zero-rating of the goods and services tax (GST) and the impending return of sales and service tax (SST), with the latter to start in two to three months time, according to Tun Daim Zainuddin of the new government’s Council of Eminent Persons.

Aminar urged customers to proceed with their purchase without waiting for June 1, as Perodua is effectively waiving GST for sales and after sales for the remainder of this month. “Our bottom line has been slightly affected, but never mind, we respect the decision of the government,” he said.

On whether cars will costlier than today with 10% SST back in place (car prices largely came down when GST replaced SST in April 2015), Aminar said that “mathematically, it looks as if it will go up, but we have to really calculate.”

“As an industry player, and through the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), we will discuss with the finance ministry to get more details. Once we get the direction, then it’s easier for us to have a counter-proposal,” he added.