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ECRL boosts Perodua’s expansion plans

KUALA LUMPUR (ANN/THE STAR) – Malaysia’s largest car maker by sales, Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua), is set to establish an East Coast regional hub for spare parts, capitalising on the upcoming East Coast Rail Link (ECRL).

Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Ahmad, Perodua’s president and CEO, indicated Kuantan, Pahang, as a potential site, though other locations are also under consideration.

“This will help our customers in the East Coast, not only with a vehicle hub but also a spare parts and pre-owned vehicle hub,” Zainal said at the National Investment Seminar.

The hub is expected to spur economic development through collaborations with Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) and local parties in Pahang.

Earlier this week, Perodua signed a memorandum of understanding with MRL, enabling it to use the ECRL to transport cars from its Serendah plant to the East Coast, Sabah, and Sarawak.

The ECRL will feature 20 passenger stations and 10 freight stations, with notable development plans for the Puncak Alam station in Selangor, as highlighted by MRL’s head of strategy, Mohd Zaidi Sharif.

Zaidi noted that Puncak Alam could become a distribution hub for steel products, potentially attracting investments in auto-related steel activities.

Perodua president and CEO Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Ahmad. PHOTO: ANN/THE STAR

“For the automotive industry, we manage to bring in vendors from Japan, China, and South Korea to invest in Malaysia and set up joint ventures with our local vendors,” Zainal added. However, he emphasised the need to attract investments in automotive-grade steel.

Perodua anticipates significant cost savings from transporting cars and parts via the railway, enhancing regional integration and addressing logistical challenges.

Zainal also highlighted the potential for increased supplier investments in Pahang and Terengganu due to the improved transportation infrastructure.

Domestically, Perodua aims to increase its market share from 40 per cent to 45 per cent this year, with plans to grow exports once domestic demand is met. The ECRL, connecting Kota Baru to the Gombak Integrated Terminal by 2027, is projected to facilitate these expansions.

The project is progressing on schedule, with full operations expected by January 2028. Zaidi noted the complexity of maintaining such a large-scale project on track but affirmed its advancement ahead of schedule.




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