KUALA LUMPUR (April 9): The Proton Saga has made its debut in Pakistan, the second model from Proton Holdings Bhd on sale in that country after the launch of the Proton X70 in December last year.
"With the addition of the fifth most populous nation, the Saga, which received a significant update in 2019, is now available in eight international markets — Brunei, Bangladesh, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Mauritius, Nepal and Pakistan," the group said in a statement today.
The Proton Saga line-up in Pakistan, it said, consists of three models, Saga MT, Saga AT and Saga Ace AT.
"Additionally, 100 units of the Proton Saga R3 Limited Edition will also be offered paired with either the MT or AT transmission," it added.
Proton said the launch of the Saga in Pakistan earlier this month was conducted online, with the High Commissioner of Malaysia to Pakistan Ikram Mohammad Ibrahim gracing the event.
Ikram hoped that Proton’s operations in Pakistan will further strengthen economic ties between Malaysia and Pakistan.
At present, Proton vehicles are imported into the country as completely built-up units, but Proton’s partner Al-Haj Automotive is set to commence local assembly operations at its new plant in Karachi by the third quarter of 2021.
The plant has a planned capacity of 25,000 units per annum.
“Exports are an important pillar for Proton and will account for an increasing percentage of our sales volume in coming years. Aside from promoting the features of our products we also leverage on the high-quality reputation of Malaysia’s manufacturing sector, which lends credibility to our own product story.
"In 2021, aside from exploring new opportunities, we will also ramp up efforts to re-enter major ASEAN markets such as Thailand and Indonesia,” said Proton Edar CEO Roslan Abdullah.
Al-Haj Automotive CEO Hilal Khan Afridi is confident that Pakistani customers will gravitate to Proton and its products.
“I am thankful to our fellow Pakistanis for making the Proton Saga an instant success in Pakistan. This car will definitely stand out for its reliability, durability and value for money,” he said after the launch.
Shares in Proton’s parent company, DRB-Hicom Bhd closed one sen or 0.52% lower at RM1.93, valuing the group at RM3.73 billion. The counter saw 1.56 million shares traded.