KUALA LUMPUR: Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sdn Bhd (Proton) says its June market share figure has hit 18.1% -- its highest since 47 months ago in July 2015 -- as it continued to record sales growth even as total industry volume shrunk by an estimated 30.8% to 42,090 units that month.
This pushed its year-to-date market share to 14.7%, which the company said is a "big improvement" from its 2018's 10.8% figure.
This comes after the company recorded its second highest sales figure this year of 7,615 units in June, a month after setting a sales high -- its best in 46 months -- of 10,611 units in May.
"As is traditional for Malaysia automotive sales, there is a precipitous drop in numbers for the month following a festive period. June was no exception as the highs prior to the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holiday were followed by a tough sales environment. Additionally, June 2018 was also the first month of the post-GST tax holiday period, making it difficult for most automotive brands to post positive year-on-year sales growth numbers.
"Proton, however, bucked the trend as sales grew by 23% compared to June last year, helping the national carmaker finish second in the sales table for the third consecutive month. It also contributed to an overall sales growth of 61% for the first six months of 2019, putting the company on track to achieve its sales targets for the year," Proton said in a statement.
The Proton X70, the company said, continues to be one of its star products, with 15,175 units delivered in the first half of the year, which makes it the cumulative sales leader for the overall SUV segment, as well as the best-selling premium and executive SUV.
"The rest of the model range is performing equally well. Sales of the Proton Saga continue to grow with 2,541 units delivered in June, contributing to a volume growth of 27% over the first six months of 2018. The other models, now updated with intelligent features are performing equally well with bookings for the 2019 Proton Persona, Iriz and Exora increasing by an average of 108%, 180% and 135% respectively compared to their pre-update booking numbers," the statement read.
"For the second half of the year, we will concentrate on continuing to build our sales and exciting the market further by introducing new and updated models as was promised at the beginning of the year," said Proton's chief executive officer Dr Li Chunrong.
Besides the improvement of its products, Proton said the increase in the number of 3S/4S outlets in the company's network has also powered the growth in sales. As at the end of June, Proton has 91 such outlets, by far the most of any automotive brand in Malaysia.
"Our strategy to grow our presence by increasing the number of 3S/4S outlets in our network is to ensure we deliver a premium brand experience to as many of our customers as possible. Our network development team is working hard to also raise our service levels and hopefully these improvements will have a positive impact on our SSI and CSI scores," added Li.