SALES of new Perodua vehicles are expected to improve by four per cent to 188,000 units this year.
UMW Holdings Bhd president and group chief executive officer Datuk Syed Hisham Syed Wazir said sales would be boosted by the introduction of new facelift models this year.
Last year, Perodua's full-year sales was 179,989 units, which was lower than its revised target of 190,000.
UMW is the largest shareholder in Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd with a 38 per cent stake.
Perodua sales last year were affected partly by the earthquake and tsunami disasters in Japan and the newly-amended Hire Purchase Act that came into effect on January 1 this year.
Meanwhile, Syed Hisham said Perodua was in talks with Toyota Motor Capital Sdn Bhd (TMC) for more funds to finance new car sales.
"Perodua is enhancing its financing arrangement with TMC in view of the current tight hire purchase financing, which is making it necessary to look for other options."
He said Perodua was exploring many ways to help potential customers get financing.
TMC is a financier for primarily Toyota vehicles in Malaysia and is ultimately owned by Toyota Motor of Japan.
Syed Hashim said an announcement would be made in the middle of this year in regards to alternative financing for Perodua customers.
UMW is involved in the assembly and distribution of the Toyota and Perodua marques that command the lion's share of the domestic car market.
"We have 46 per cent market share, meaning for every two cars sold, one is related to the UMW group," he said.
Syed Hisham said the group planned to launch new models and facelifted models this year and they were expected to boost sales.
UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd got off to a good start this year with the launch of the all-new Avanza in January and the Prius C hybrid the month after.
The Lexus GS was launched recently while the new Toyota Camry is expected to be launched in June.
A facelift Vios is also expected to come out in the second half of this year.
Toyota's total sales target for this year, which includes both the Toyota and Lexus marques, is 93,000 units, up from the 88,682 units sold last year.