Perodua recorded sales of 22,940 units in December 2021, which is 13.0% higher than the 20,299 vehicles recorded in November. This is attributed to countermeasures on intermittent supply disruption due to Covid-19.

However, last month’s sales was short of the 30,000 registrations needed to take the overall 2021 tally pass the 200,000 units mark. If that happened, it would have been the highest ever monthly sales in P2’s history, surpassing the 27,858 units from October 2021.

As things stand, the market leader sold 190,291 vehicles in 2021, which is a 13.6% drop from the 220,154 units recorded in 2020.

“It’s below our target of 200,000 units for 2021 as the challenges in 2021 was greater than anticipated,” said Perodua president and CEO Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad, who cited the impact of Covid-19, the semiconductor chip supply disruption and the recent floods as major hits to P2 production.

In November 2021, P2 announced that the company will not be meeting its 2021 sales target of 214,000 units, and that breaching the 200k units mark would be a good result for the year considering the difficulties. The 214k figure was already revised downwards from the original 240,000 units. That revision was announced in September.

Of course, the Myvi continued to lead the overall Malaysian car industry with 47,525 units, followed by the Axia with 43,080 units. The Axia is No.2 in both Perodua’s range and nationally. Just slightly behind is the Bezza sedan with 42,698 units. That’s actually higher than the Proton Saga’s 40,786 locally registered units, but P1 has the habit of claiming leadership by including exports, and now, the exports of CKD packs.

Elsewhere, the Ativa contributed 26,847 units from 10 months of sales and the Aruz did 15,313 units. Surprisingly, the super long in the tooth Alza – which production will come to an end this month after slightly over 12 years – recorded 14,828 units, not far from the more modern and bigger (but costlier) Aruz.

Zainal added that Malaysia’s total industry volume (TIV) for 2021 would also see a similar impact with an estimated decline of 4.5% to 504,536 units, from 528,172 units sold in 2020.

It was probably the most difficult year ever for the carmaker in terms of production (P2 typically sells everything they make, so sales figures are determined by production), and it could have been worse if not for creative countermeasures that also involved P2’s vendors.

“Despite the lower than expected performance for 2021, our countermeasures for the impact of Covid-19 has proven successful so far as we and our suppliers are dynamically cooperating and coordinating our efforts to ensure interruptions are minimised.

“These efforts include having a ready team of personnel to take active countermeasures at an alternate site if a supplier is under lockdown and also by allocating Perodua staff to shore up any suppliers that need temporary manpower replacement,” Zainal explained.

Moving forward, Perodua has forecasted a 240,000 sales target for 2022, but this will be reviewed later this month. “In December, we forecasted a 240,000 sales target for 2022, however, we will likely review that figure later this month as we are taking into account the latest developments and events into consideration,” the P2 chief said.

“The local automotive supply chain had taken a massive setback in recent years, however, there is a silver lining as the order bank for Perodua vehicles remains healthy as consumers are still responding positively to the sales tax exemption introduced by the government,” he added.

In tabling Budget 2022, the government extended the sales tax exemption for cars to June 30, 2022. The tax break was originally scheduled to end on December 31, 2021.