At Perodua’s 2019 full-year review presentation earlier this week, the carmaker also highlighted its future investment plans, and it looks to be gearing up for some serious expansion this year.

The company revealed it is planning to nearly double its spending in investment for 2020. Last year, it invested RM569.2 million into factory upgrades and increasing its R&D activities, among other things, and this year, that spending is set to increase by RM490.1 million, to RM1.06 billion.

Perodua president and CEO Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad said that the bulk of the investment would be used on plant modernisation, building expansion as well as preparation for a new model, which is expected to the D55L SUV.

“Half of it, about RM500 million, is related to factory investments, in modernisation, expansion as well as preparation for a future model,” he said.

This suggests that the automaker is upgrading its facilities to cater for the new model, which Zainal said would sit on a Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA) platform. The platform underpins the Rocky, a model that has been widely associated as the base for Perodua’s upcoming D55L B-segment compact SUV.

Elsewhere, the company will be upgrading its after-sales service in order to keep up with the increasing number of vehicles it is selling. “About 20% is for our sales-related improvements, on service. Last year, we focused on employee satisfaction, but this year it will be on customer satisfaction, with about RM200 million set to be allocated for this,” he said.

The automaker is also aiming to become the R&D hub for ASEAN, but the full movement towards that will only come next year. “In terms of R&D, the allocation this year is RM150 million, but this year our focus on R&D is to complete our test track,” he explained, adding that much of the R&D activities this year will focus on planning, with proper investment set to begin from 2021.