The SUV could strengthen Perodua’s market share as sales for its crowd-favourite Myvi is normalising
By RAHIMI YUNUS
Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd’s (Perodua) flagship SUV, Aruz, received some 300 orders in less than 24 hours after booking opened last week.
“Aruz received 300 bookings from 11am (last Thursday) to 10am (last Friday). Our SUV is not really a C-segment vehicle. It is a B-segment car and thus a compact SUV.
“So, I don’t think it is a direct competition to Proton Holdings Bhd’s X70,” Perodua president and CEO Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).
Perodua is expecting an average sale of 2,500 units per month or 31,200 units by year-end for its first SUV model, according to media reports.
The seven-seater SUV is scheduled to be launched in two weeks time, according to sources.
The 1.5-litre SUV’s price starts from RM72,000, while Proton’s 1.8-litre X70 is offered from RM99,800 and comes with technologically advanced features. Perodua’s Aruz comes in two variants — the 1.5X and 1.5 Advance — and goes up against the Honda BR-V and Toyota Rush, which it was based on.
The second-generation Rush is locally assembled under contract at Perodua’s manufacturing plant and distributed by UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd.
Aruz is RM21,000 cheaper, but is almost identical to the Rush with the exception of blind spot assist and 360- degree camera features.
Industry observers and analysts believe Aruz could poach buyers keen on purchasing the Toyota Rush.
“Considering Aruz and Toyota Rush appear to be twins wearing a different badge, with an estimated price difference of RM21,000, we expect some cannibalisation for the all-new Toyota Rush launched in October 2018,” Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd analyst Brian Yeoh noted in a report.
“Nonetheless, we note that Rush is not UMW Toyota’s top-selling model as the group hopes to sell circa 300 units per month or 3,600 units per annum,” Yeoh added.
Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd analyst Muhammad Fazli Akmal Zamri said Aruz is positioned at an entry-level market and bodes well with Perodua’s customers.
“Aruz is for a typical Perodua customer, as well as for those who want to upgrade to an SUV,” Muhammad Fazli told TMR.
He added that the SUV could strengthen Perodua’s market share in Malaysia as the sales for its crowd-favourite Myvi is normalising.
SUVs have taken the automotive world by storm. One in every three cars sold worldwide now is an SUV and just about every carmaker offers at least one SUV model.
This year, several SUV models are expected to hit the Malaysian market including Hyundai Kona; Mazda CX-8 and CX-3; Audi Q2 and Q5; and Borgward BX5.
Meanwhile, Proton’s X70 has received more than 15,000 bookings to date.