Earlier this year, we reported that Perodua will become Daihatsu's regional R&D hub, and that it will be developing a new sedan for the South East Asia region.
Where it got interesting was the part of the presentation slides that showed four silhouettes of unknown cars of various body types. While Perodua’s CEO Dato’ Zainal Abidin Ahmad cautioned us against reading too much into it, he did confirm that one of it is a sedan and it would be a big project.
Fast forward to today we now know that the sedan project refers to a B-segment-sized car.
Two times five equals ten so the B-segment model referred here has to be the next-generation Toyota Vios.
Back in 2016, Toyota and Daihatsu formed a new internal company called Emerging-market Compact Car Company, or EMCC in short. EMCC is tasked to develop compact cars for the ASEAN region.
Daihatsu’s local partner Perodua has confirmed that they will be the R&D hub for this region, and will also be working on models not sold in Malaysia (i.e. Indonesia and Philippines).
Further cementing the notion that the next-gen Vios will be developed by Daihatsu/Perodua is its Daihatsu-format D92A codename.
The current-generation Toyota Vios has been around since 2013. The model has received numerous updates over its current lifecycle, with the most recent one being back in August in Thailand.
With the underpinnings of the current Vios being close to a decade old, a replacement model is definitely on the cards. It’s not too far-fetched to say that the next-gen Toyota Vios will be developed on the DNGA platform – just like the upcoming D55L and next-gen Perodua Alza. DNGA is basically Toyota's TNGA with a different name.
As it is, Perodua has already been tasked to build the 1.5-litre 2NR-FE Dual VVT-i engines used by the Toyota Vios and Toyota Yaris. The engines are made at the Daihatsu Perodua Engine Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd. plant in Sendayan. The 2NR-FE is identical to the 2NR-VE engine used by the Perodua Myvi and Aruz, only the engine code's suffix is changed.
However, although Daihatsu/Perodua will lead the development for the Toyota Vios, it doesn't mean that the Vios will also be sold as a Perodua. Recall that Perodua's manufacturing operations are controlled by Daihatsu and the Malaysia-lead management only controls the sales company Perodua Sales Sdn. Bhd., or PSSB.
Whether PSSB will be given the rights to sell the Vios under a Perodua brand or not is a separate business decision.