We’ve reported a fair bit on the upcoming all-new Perodua Alza, codenamed D27A. By piecing together all the clues and available information, we’ve come to the conclusion that second-generation MPV will debut next year. But there has been no official word from Perodua. Until now.
At the media drive of the 2022 Myvi facelift in Johor Bahru, Perodua president and CEO Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad was asked about next year’s product plans, and if the new Alza is coming soon. He decided to come clean.
“If I say no then I’ll be lying. Definitely there’ll be one FMC (full model change) next year, but the timing I cannot guarantee now because of travel bans and Covid. Yes, there will be a change but I cannot tell u when because we are still finalising a few items,” he said.
Pressed to elaborate, Zainal reiterated that Perodua has the capability to introduce one FMC and two MC (minor change a.k.a. facelift) models per year. “First, we look at our capability. Based on our R&D (capacity) and the number of people that we have, the number of engineers in R&D that we have, currently we are able to have one FMC and two MC models a year,” he said.
“For Perodua, our model life is six to seven years. Currently we have six models. Every year we’ll have one FMC, taking turns,” he added.
As reported last month, production of the current Alza will come to an end after 12 years, with a final build of 1,100 units to happen in January 2022. The P2 chief shared that despite the JDM-based model’s age, it somehow has a following, and Perodua gets a steady stream of orders for the MPV every month.
“The Alza is a very unique model for us. The current Alza still gets 1,500 orders per month. It has its own followers. It’s 13 years old already, compared to the usual model life of six, seven years old. If one year of a car’s age is equivalent to eight human years, Alza is like 160 years old! But it’s still very popular,” Zainal said.
As such, Perodua doesn’t strictly need to replace the Alza, given the steady demand and the fact that it has long recouped all investment for the project.
“If you think from a business point of view, I will not change (the model), as it’s fully amortised, and still can get 1,500 orders per month. That’s if it’s a business decision. However, Perodua is a responsible national car company. I want to make sure Malaysians have safety features and our customers enjoy new technology,” Zainal said.
This is no mere PR talk, as Perodua has been pushing the safety tech envelope with every new model, offering features that are unprecedented for the segments and price points it is in. Ancient Alza aside, AEB is now available in every model it sells, adaptive cruise control made its debut in the Ativa, and even the Myvi has ACC now. That and things like the Ativa AV’s Audi Matrix LED-style Adaptive Driving Beam are not a given even in the premium segment. Expect the D27A Alza to have some, if not all of the above-mentioned features.
You can also expect the next Alza to be a twin of the just-launched Toyota Avanza/Daihatsu Xenia. Merging it with the Toyota/Daihatsu budget MPV for the region makes sense for economies of scale. DNGA for the next Alza/Avanza fits nicely into the Perodua picture as well – the Rawang-based carmaker has invested heavily into DNGA production for the Ativa, which will surely not be a one-off, but a start of a new era.
The new Avanza is unrecognisable from the budget MPV that we know. It’s larger and less van-like in appearance. Now using the DNGA platform and front-wheel drive (old one was RWD), the Indonesian-spec Low MPV is powered by 1.3L and 1.5L Dual VVT-i NR engines, which Perodua makes in Malaysia for itself and Toyota (Vios, Yaris). Our neighbours get a manual option, but P2 is probably going auto-only, as per the 2022 Myvi. No more 4AT, hello D-CVT.
Check out the new Toyota Avanza and its Daihatsu Xenia twin.
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