National carmaker Perodua is confident that the disruption brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic will not significantly impact its sales performance this year. In January, the company had set a sales target of 240,000 units for 2020, and though it says it is unlikely to meet that target, it expects to be able to do close to 210,000 units for the year at the current rate.

This was revealed by Perodua president and CEO Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad earlier today. Speaking to reporters at a vendor certification event hosted by Malaysia Automotive, Robotics & IoT Institute (MARii) earlier today, he said that the automaker was upbeat about its sales performance going into the end of the year, in line with the revised 2020 TIV forecast set by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) last month.

“It will be very difficult to get to our original target, because of the period from March to May. However, bookings from customers have been very good, and so we are looking at a maximum reduction of 15% in sales volume from the original target, which was about 240,000 units, to around 210,000 units,” he said.

He said that the sales tax exemption given by the government has helped the industry. For Perodua, the uptick in demand has resulted in the waiting period now being more than two months, and Zainal said the company was trying very hard to catch up with demand.

“In terms of production, our plan from August to December will see us doing around 25,000 units a month on average, which is almost 98 to 99%% of our capacity,” he said.

Asked if rising unemployment rates would have an impact on its sales into the end of 2020, he said that Perodua should be able to achieve its targeted numbers, based on a mapping study it had conducted.

He said the company obtained info from the department of statistics and set out to come up with a detailed map of what and who had been impacted by the pandemic. “We studied every industry in Malaysia, for example the food industry, the government as well as construction, service and manufacturing industries, and the impact the pandemic had on each of these industries from a labour viewpoint,” he explained.

“Some industries were impacted by 30%, some by 15%, while civil servants in the government remained unaffected. We then mapped these industries to our vehicle models and their customers. For each model (Axia, Bezza and Myvi), we know which industry they are coming from, and based on the study and its mapping, we are confident that we can meet the target,” he added.