KUALA LUMPUR (May 3): Proton Holdings Bhd reclaimed its second spot in the vehicle sales table in April, for the first time since February 2016, with total sales of 7,011 units.
In a statement today, Proton, which is 50.1% owned by DRB-Hicom Bhd and 49.9% by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd, said the figure was a 75% year-on-year jump and 14.1% higher month-on-month.
It added this was achieved despite a downturn in total industry volume (TIV), which contracted by 6.2% month-on-month, making Proton the only automotive brand ranked in the top five to record positive growth.
"This fact is also reflected in overall sales growing by 50.2% so far this year," it said.
Proton said strong sales performances by the Proton Saga and Proton X70 were the main drivers for the achievement but sales also received a boost following the official launch of the 2019 Proton Iriz and Persona on April 23.
Proton chief executive officer Dr Li Chunrong said the carmaker was proud to finish second in overall sales in April 2019, returning to the position for the first time in over three years.
"Our aim is to try and end the year in second place to create a solid base for our long-term goal of leading the Malaysian car market again.
"With the launch of the Iriz and Persona and improved versions of the Proton Exora and Saga set to be introduced later this year, the company is quietly confident it can achieve its goal," he said.
Li said Proton's sales achievement in April is testament to how the company is moving in the right direction thanks to Malaysian car buyers regaining confidence in the brand and its products.
"It also showcases the value of the Proton X70 at driving traffic to our showrooms, resulting in other models getting more attention as customers are reminded of the value, quality and safety of all Proton vehicles," he said.
Li said with 11,133 units delivered so far in 2019, Proton is the champion in the premium SUV category (C-segment) as well as the executive SUV category (price above RM100,000).
He said the Proton X70 remains the best-selling SUV in Malaysia this year, with a 24% share of the overall segment.
"Nearly five months since it was launched, the Proton X70 continues to show its staying power by heading its market segment despite the launch of new models by rival brands.
"Proton is now an established player in the SUV market and our experience with our first SUV will serve us well in the near future as we launch more models that are jointly developed by Proton and Geely," said Li.