By AFIQ AZIZ / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS
Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) launched its latest SUV model, Aruz, which is expected to capture a substantial chunk of the growing market segment to fuel the company’s growth.
Aruz is Perodua’s third attempt in the SUV market, since the launch of Kembara in 1998 and Nautica, a model that was based on Daihatsu Terios introduced in 2008.
Perodua president and CEO Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad said Aruz has so far recorded 2,200 bookings since its Jan 3 soft launch.
“SUVs are enjoying a big rise globally. Buyers like the versatility, comfort, high driving position, good visibility and space, while still maintaining a compact footprint,” he said during the launch of the new model in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The launch of the seven- seater SUV was officiated by International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking.
Currently, the SUV segment in the country is still considered small, with a ratio of 10 cars to one. According to global supplier automotive data Jato Dynamics, in the Northern America countries, every 10 cars sold comprising of four SUV models.
Aruz emerged in the market 22 days after Proton Holdings Bhd launched its first SUV, the technologically advanced X70.
The Malaysian Reserve reported that the Proton X70 had been receiving more than 12,000 bookings, with an ave- rage of 200 to 300 bookings per day after it was launched on Dec 12, 2018.
Meanwhile, Leiking urged Perodua to improve the export market for its products, especially in Asian countries.
“Our prime minister (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) is very concerned about our automotive industry’s future as we should not only focus on the domestic market.
“The sales of Perodua cars have been encouraging, and so I hope they are also working hard to improve its export performance,” he said.
Zainal Abidin said the RM600 million project was jointly developed with Daihatsu Motor Co Ltd. More than 90% of the components are sourced locally.
The product comes in two variants: 1.5X and 1.5 Advance, priced at RM72,900 and RM77,900 respectively (on-the-road before insurance) in Peninsular Malaysia.