Perodua sees greater globalisation with new blueprint

PERODUA has to look beyond Malaysia to grow as a car manufacturer and how it designs and develops future car models is a key step in that direction. Being the current top Malaysian seller is only the first step and making a name in regional markets should be step two. To be recognised globally as an established carmaker would be the ultimate goal.

This is not overlooked at Perodua as the carmaker shapes its future directions. Although Perodua enjoyed limited success as a car exporter despite starting much earlier on, the thing is to start somewhere and learn the ropes as it goes along. More importantly for now, it is to build a strong local foundation and maintain momentum. Its strategy here is revealed in its ‘first sustainable blueprint’ – Perodua Smart Build - that encompasses almost the entire Malaysian supplier and dealer ecosystem.

Putting that in perspective, Perodua President and CEO Dato’ Zainal Abidin said: “Perodua Smart Build is an evolution of what Perodua and the Malaysian automotive industry were originally set up to do: create a sustainable and robust automotive ecosystem,” adding that it is also the company’s ‘Transformation 3.0’ as it builds on previous milestones.

Perodua’s first transformation initiative took off in 2011 with the focus on building an ‘energy-efficient vehicle ecosystem’, stopping defect outflow, setting up Perodua Global Manufacturing Sdn Bhd and changing its mindset to be quality conscious. He said: “Transformation 2.0 was to focus on customer satisfaction, organisational development and the fostering of unity within the entire Perodua Group of Companies.”

Dato Zainal envisions the third phase as building a sustainable future for Perodua and its partners to the point where the carmaker could find its own niche in the automotive industry. Under Transformation 3.0, he foresees Perodua working with business partners to rationalise the gap in quality, cost and delivery within the automotive ecosystem and get the industry to be ‘in the right size’.

Going by the current design roots of the Perodua range, Daihatsu Motor Company of Japan naturally comes into the picture being a shareholder and technology and technical partner of Perodua. Dato Zainal is clear on this when stating that ‘Perodua is working with all its partners to see where existing expertise could be utilised beyond Malaysia’. As it were, ‘Perodua staff are now working to design Daihatsu models in Japan as part of Perodua’s effort to export local expertise abroad’.

In that respect, he said Perodua would continue to leverage on its close partnership with Daihatsu to realise Perodua Smart Build’s objective. This lends support to the prime aim of the latest initiative: ‘full product development by Perodua and its suppliers, the establishment of a first-class working culture and first-class thinking that could contribute to the nation’.

He added: “Perodua Smart Build marks the start of Perodua and its partners’ journey towards a higher level of competitiveness.” Furthermore, as a number of Malaysian suppliers are already part of Daihatsu’s global supply chain, he said Perodua was working with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry to prepare more local suppliers to follow suit.

By focusing more on developing dealers, including strengthening their operations and guiding them towards the adoption of global best practices to further improve customer satisfaction, Dato Zainal said: “We consider our dealers business partners in the same way Daihatsu is our business partner, and we are committed towards their prosperity as long as they, too, are committed to our goals.”

He summarises Perodua’s goals as: “Where products are concerned, our future offerings would better reflect contemporary trends without compromising our fundamentals – space, practicality, quality, dependability, fuel efficiency and unparalleled value.” Yes, Perodua is not resting on its laurels and as it continues to build on its strengths, car buyers here, and increasingly beyond our shores, would gain with successively better products along the way. - LPS