We always think of car plants as production centres for new cars and their parts, but rarely spare a thought for parts for discontinued models. Somebody’s got to make them, and they take up space and capacity. Perodua has now done something about it, by outsourcing the function.

Malaysia’s market leader says that it is centralising parts production for past models with the launch of a new press stamping machine at its supplier IQM in Tanjung Malim today. Perodua says that the move is one of its initiatives to help expand their vendors’ business and capabilities, bringing them one step closer to becoming global automotive suppliers.

Perodua made a RM7 million investment on the machine, including its transportation and installation. The 1,600 metric tonne hydraulic press stamping machine will produce body parts such as bonnets, side outer panels, rear quarter panels, fenders, doors and roofs for past old models such as the first-gen Myvi, Viva, Kelisa and even the Kancil. The dies required to make the parts have also been moved to IQM.

It’s win-win. For Perodua, this frees up much-needed factory space, simplifies the entire operation, reduces lead time and cost, and makes it easier to monitor production under one roof. Perodua also assists IQM in terms of skill transfer and training where past model parts production is concerned.

“Perodua’s decision to centralise past model parts production at IQM is four-pronged. One, we want to continue supporting owners of our past models with quality, quick and affordable parts through our body and paint business, because as long as you own a Perodua vehicle – old or new – we will always be there for you,” said Perodua president and CEO Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad.

“Two, we are committed to empowering all 135 of our Malaysian suppliers, not just by buying from them but helping to develop them via skill and technology transfers. Three, it represents our commitment to the nation and its economy by helping to boost the competitiveness of the Malaysian automotive eco-system. Finally, it represents our commitment to ourselves. To keep improving our quality and efficiency so that Perodua can be a better and leaner company moving forward,” he added.

Since rolling out the first Kancil in 1994, Perodua has sold over 3.7 million cars in Malaysia and currently, a third of the demand for Perodua parts is for past models.

On the topic of vendors, business from Perodua is vital. With all its current models having over 90% local parts content, the Rawang-based carmaker is the biggest buyer of automotive components in the country, having spent RM4.5 billion on parts so far this year out of an earmarked RM5.4 billion for the whole of 2019.

IQM has been a Perodua supplier since 2002. It currently does metal stamping, body assembly parts and brake tube components to P2. The company started making Viva parts when production of the model ceased in 2014, and early last year it began producing parts for the second-generation Myvi on a dedicated new line. For owners of discontinued models, this is reassuring news.