The B-segment Perodua D55L (some insist that it’s an A, not entirely wrong, it sits in between traditional segments) was originally planned to be launched in January 2021, just in time to catch the Chinese New Year car buying season.
Of course, Covid-19 and the associated CMCO have caused a fair bit of disruption. Production is supposed to begin by December but there have been delays, which is not surprising.
To date, dealers have yet to be notified of any for product training for the D55L. This normally happens about one month before a new model is launched.
We would also expect Perodua to be extra cautious in the conducting product training, so expect it take place over an even longer period of time due to social distancing measures.
No car company will want to have the dubious honour of being called Auto Cluster No.2. Remember that Proton’s X50 product training was the cause of Shah Alam’s Auto Cluster, affecting 49 Proton employees.
Sources familiar with the matter say the launch will have to pushed to March 2021.
Details are still kept tightly under wraps but its donor cars in Japan, the Daihatsu Rocky/Toyota Raize twin, are powered by a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine mated to a CVT-type automatic transmission.
Both the engine and transmission are nothing like what’s offered by any previous Perodua model, so sales and after-sales training will need to be more comprehensive than usual.
Perodua dealers and sales representatives have little experience in explaining the benefits of a CVT. They have previously been taught to explain counterpoints Proton’s CVT, which by the way, has already been dropped from the Saga, and next year, the Iriz and Persona too, to be replaced by a regular 4-speed automatic.
No indicative price is available yet but it should be priced below the Proton X50, which ranges from RM 79,200 to RM 103,300 – sales tax-exempted prices valid only until 31-December 2021
Perodua’s current range of models top out only at RM 73,226. Just RM6k separate the most expensive Aruz AV and the cheapest X50 Standard.
The D55L’s price range - at least two variants is to be expected - will very likely overlap/is very close the Aruz’s and the X50’s, so comparisons are inevitable.