Proton to absorb SST for all models in September after August sales volume hit record high

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 3): Proton Holdings Bhd will absorb the sales and services tax (SST) charge for all Proton car models in September 2018, to ensure buyers can still benefit from the tax-free price of its cars.

“While Proton acknowledges that SST will affect car prices, for September, the company will absorb the SST for all our models to give buyers additional time to make a purchase. This will benefit them during this transitional period and help Proton maintain the sales momentum it has recently built.

"The looming implementation of SST caused disruption in the Malaysian automotive market, as car buyers rushed to make purchases before the tax took effect (on Saturday, Sept 1, 2018)," Proton said in a statement today.

In August, sales volume grew 18.5% to 9,501 cars from July, led by the Saga and Persona models, the statement said. Proton's August sales volume was its highest since July 2015, it added.

Today, Proton Edar chief executive officer Abdul Rashid Musa said in the statement: “August saw a third consecutive month of sales growth for Proton, as we set yet another volume high for the year. This was primarily fuelled by the current zero-rated GST climate, prior to the implementation of [the] SST, as well as our aggressive marketing campaigns that reminded Malaysians to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime tax holiday. 

"The strong sales numbers show there is an increase in public confidence in the brand, as more people are choosing Proton due to the attractive overall package we offer. Our turnaround plan is on track, so the onus is on us to make sure these new customers stay by delivering a high level of customer service.” 

According to Proton Holdings' statement, Proton Holdings is a 50.1%-owned subsidiary of DRB-Hicom Bhd, while Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd owns the remaining 49.9% stake.