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Perodua May Accelerate Malaysia Plant Plan on Japan Quake

Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn., a Malaysian carmaker, may accelerate plans for a 250 million ringgit ($84 million) parts factory after the March 11 Japan earthquake disrupted supplies.

The manufacturer, which also assembles vehicles for Toyota Motor Corp., is in talks with shareholder Daihatsu Motor Co. and other potential investors about beginning production in late 2012, Managing Director Aminar Rashid Salleh told reporters in Kuala Lumpur today. Construction of the factory, which will make electronic automatic transmissions, may start near the end of this year, he said. That’s earlier than planned.

The factory will initially serve the domestic market, before beginning exports a few years later, possibly including to Japan, Aminar said. The closely held company wants to pare its reliance on Japanese parts after supply shortages caused by the March temblor forced an 11 percent cut in production.

Perodua, as the Selangor-based company is known, expects to return to full production by July, which is earlier than expected, Aminar said. It plans to add a new own-brand compact car by August.

The company, also part-owned by UMW Holdings Bhd., is maintaining a sales target of 195,000 vehicles this year, he said.

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