After the period of wait since the discontinuation of the popular Perodua Viva Elite last year, a newer and sophisticated model from the line will hit Lankan roads this July.
The Perodua Axia, which is the tenth model from the range, is currently sold in Malaysia and will be launched by early July in Sri Lanka, United Motors Limited (UML) CEO Chanaka Yatawara said.
“The Perodua Viva, which was moving extremely well in the local market, was discontinued last year and we haven’t marketed a successor since then. For its replacement is the new Perodua Axia and we expect it to deliver much more,” stated Yatawara.
The Perodua Axia is a five-door hatchback and is Malaysia’s first energy efficient vehicle (EEV). The car takes over the title of being the most affordable car in Malaysia from the Perodua Viva. It is the first model to début from Perodua’s all-new second factory in Rawang, Selangor.
According to Yatawara, the Axia has been highly successful in the Malaysian market and the same outcome is expected in Sri Lanka.
“It’s a new design altogether. It is not a rebadged model. In Malaysia there is a long waiting list for the car. The vehicle is moving very fast, its acceptance is high despite it being priced higher than the Viva,” he noted.
Although the price for the Axia is yet to be confirmed, Yatawara shared that Perodua’s latest model will be within the range of Rs.2.5 to Rs.2.7 million.
Commenting on the impact on profits due to the discontinuation of the Perodua Viva, Yatawara said if the model had remained the profits recorded for the year 2014/2015 would have been higher.
“If the manufacturer stops the product then we will have to face it. Unfortunately there was quite a gap between the discontinuation of the old model and the launch of a new one. If United Motors had that product on top of how we performed, it would have been additional profit. However, in the absence of it we have been able to look at other opportunities and get our existing business to perform better,” he said.
For the year 2014/2015 United Motors Limited recorded a profit of Rs.1.26 billion, a drop from the Rs.1.6 billion recorded in 2013/2014.
With the launch of Axia, Yatawara expressed confidence in the model help bridge the profit drop. “We are hopeful that the new model will be successful. With the price being affordable, coupled with the low interest rates, we are expecting the volumes to be quite encouraging. With that we will make additional profits this year,” said the confident CEO.