Proton’s November sales volume doubles y-o-y

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on December 4, 2019.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Proton Holdings Bhd said yesterday its car sales volume in November 2019 grew 100% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 9,643 units as its Proton Saga model reclaimed the top spot for A-segment sedans in Malaysia, and as the Proton X70 sport utility vehicle (SUV) sales rose above 2,000 units.

In a statement, Proton said the cumulative sales volume year to date (YTD) grew 50.1% to 89,476 units, from that of a year earlier. “[Our] market share has also grown, now estimated at 16.2% for the whole of 2019,” Proton said.

“The Proton Saga posted a third consecutive month of sales breaking the 4,000-unit barrier, as 4,091 cars were delivered in November. This allowed Proton’s newest model to return to the top of the A-segment sedan sales table and with 34,422 units sold so far in 2019, its volume growth now stands at an impressive 32%, by far the best for any model in the segment,” it added.

Proton chief executive officer Dr Li Chunrong, in the statement, said the Saga model had been a big success for Proton since the Saga’s launch in August 2019.

“In just four months, we achieved more than 35,000 bookings. Currently, every unit that our factory can deliver has been spoken for. Our challenge therefore is to increase our production capacity for the Saga and we had intensive discussions with our vendors to work towards a volume increase next year,” Li said.

Meanwhile, the Proton X70, launched on Dec 12, 2018, saw a better sales volume in November 2019, with more than 2,000 units sold, according to Li.

“It enabled Proton to enter a new segment with zero market experience and, a year later, emerged as the undisputed sales leader. As the first anniversary of its introduction to the market approaches, sales have picked up in volume. In November, more than 2,000 units were sold.

“The uptrend showed customers are still interested in the most intelligent SUV available for sale and we’re targeting to grow that interest in the coming year,” he said.

Proton’s Tanjung Malim plant is a crucial highlight. Li said as the new plant’s extension approaches the commencement of production activities, Proton engineers have pledged to deliver products that match or are better in quality than vehicles produced by other members of Geely Auto Group.

“Proton has been tasked to be one of the centres of right-hand drive production for the group, so for this to happen, our production quality must match the level achieved by other group members,” Li said.

“This is a very tough goal to achieve but I am confident the company has the necessary engineers and production line workers determined to prove Malaysian-built vehicles are comparable to rivals globally,” he added.