Perodua president and CEO Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh said that the national carmaker has yet to make a decision on whether to absorb the sales and service tax (SST) for those who order their cars before the tax’s implementation on September 1 but receive them after that date. Such a scheme has already been implemented by Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors and Mazda distributor Bermaz Auto.

Aminar said at a press conference after the company’s first half performance announcement that this was because the government has yet to finalise the mechanism in which SST will be implemented. “Yes, the government has mentioned SST is at 10% for goods, but in the conversations that we’ve had with the government and customs, there will be mechanisms.

“So as a result of not finalising the mechanism yet, we don’t know whether it will be a nett 10% [increase] or not. And because it’s still a work in progress, and the discussion is still ongoing, it is premature for us to say – for example, if the price goes up – whether we are going to absorb [SST] or not. But any announcement, whether we are going to absorb or not, will be made once we understand and there’s a finalisation on the SST and the mechanism on how it’s going to be implemented.” said Aminar.

He added that customers who order their cars this month (with the exception of a few units of the Alza MPV) will only be able to receive their cars after September 1, such is the waiting period. “I have to admit our bookings have been very overwhelming, [even] before the announcement of 0% GST, let alone these three months. Definitely we will not be able to meet all the demand. So I’m just telling our customers out there we apologise that we will not be able to deliver within this period,” he said.

Perodua Sales managing director Datuk Zahari Husin chimed in, saying that its production facilities are working overtime to meet the demand. “What’s more important right now is that we want our customers to know. If you place your booking today, [our sales advisors] will say that you will probably be getting your car in September or October with a possibility of a price increase. This, we cannot guarantee at this moment.

“But if that’s going to be the case, then customers will at least be aware now. It’s more important to make our customers understand now that there will be a possibility of them not getting their car during the tax holiday, and the possibility of a price increase. But at the same time we are trying to deliver as many as possible of those bookings within this tax holiday,” he said.