Automotive

Published on March 2nd, 2021 | by Joshua Chin

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Proton Sales Had Its Best February In Over A Decade

Proton has also announced its commitment to revamp its after-sales services. 

Proton has recently announced that it had experienced its best February in over a decade. Shifting a total of 11,873 units both domestically and internationally over the 28 days, the Malaysian automaker has also managed to claim an estimated market share of over 27%, its highest since September 2013. 

Continuing on the subject these staggering sales figures, Proton has also managed sell twice as many cars in February when compared to the month before, with January only seeing the company sell a total of 5,964 units. Nevertheless, the cumulative sales for the first two months of this year still slightly lags behind on the numbers from the year prior, by about 3.5% or 643 units. 

Now delving deeper into the sales statistics for the month of February, it should come as no surprise that the biggest sales news for Proton is still dominated by its X50 compact crossover. The best-selling SUV in Malaysia at this moment with well over 30,000 bookings made even before the end of last year, Proton has since managed to deliver an additional 3,345 units last month. Bringing the total number of X50s on the road today to 8,141. 

Moving onto the X50’s larger brother meanwhile, the X70 still remains the best-selling C-segment SUV locally, with 1,475 units shifted by Proton in February. 

Proton X70 drive event 2020

Nevertheless, the title for the Malaysian automaker’s overall top-seller overall is still the Saga, with 4,217 units sold. Additionally, on the 25th of February, this sedan has also become the first Proton to be sold over in Kenya, where it is locally assembled by the Simba Corporation. 

As for the other models in Proton’s range, the Persona has once again reclaimed the title of being the best-selling B-segment sedan locally, after 1,818 units left the showrooms last month. The Exora too remained at the head of the C-segment MPV market in February, while the Proton Iriz snagged a third place finish for B-segment hatchback sales locally. 

Speaking of Proton’s legacy PIES (Persona, Iriz, Exora, Saga) models, these four cars were also given the special edition treatment last month, with the launch of the Persona and Exora Black Edition, as well as the Saga and Iriz R3 Edition. These tarted-up models apparently have been rather popular with Malaysians too, as 1,169 of the limited run of 3,500 units have already been spoken for.

In other Proton news, the Malaysian automaker has announced plans to fully revamp its after-sales service this year. This is ‘so that customers can enjoy a premium brand experience after buying their cars’. 

According to Proton CEO Roslan Abdullah, Proton has readily admitted that there might have been some aspects of its business that have not been keep up with its recent sales success and delays regarding accident repairs and servicing have been voiced by owners. As a result therefore, the Malaysian automaker is committed to making these improvements  and frustrated owners are urged to please contact Proton’s customer care hotline at 1-800-88-8398. 

PRESS RELEASE: February was a productive month for PROTON as the Malaysian automotive brand reached market highs that had not been experienced for several years. By delivering 11,873 units (domestic + export), PROTON had its best February in over a decade equivalent to an estimated market share of 27.1%, the highest for the company since September 2013. 

Overall, PROTON finished the month ranked second with sales nearly doubling the January 2021 total of 5,964 units. Compared to the same month in 2020, volume has grown by 19.9% though overall, the total for the first two months of the year is still 643 units or 3.5% behind last year’s cumulative total. 

PROTON X50 deliveries accelerate as four Proton models lead their segments 

PROTON launched its second SUV, the Proton X50, on 27 October 2020 and the response from Malaysians was overwhelming. Over 30,000 bookings were collected before the end of the year, but delays to the production schedule as well as focusing on build quality meant delivery times built up quickly. With 3,345 units delivered in February, a total of 8,141 units are now in the hands of buyers as supply slowly catches up to demand. 

This number is also the highest monthly volume ever achieved by an SUV in Malaysia and therefore makes the Proton X50 the best-selling SUV in its segment and overall. Add the 1,475 units of the Proton X70 delivered in February (the highest for a C-segment SUV), and the company sold a combined total of 4,820 SUVs, its best ever performance and the most for any brand in the country. 

The model with the highest sales however remained the Proton Saga. With 4,217 units delivered the A-segment sedan remains a popular choice amongst car buyers who value its combination of practicality, attractive design and value for money proposition. The sedan also spread its wings by being the first Proton model to go on sale in Kenya on 25 February, where it is locally assembled by PROTON’s partner, Simba Corporation. 

Other Proton models also performed well. The Proton Persona regained leadership in the B-segment sedan category by finishing the month with 1,818 units delivered, beating its highly acclaimed newer rivals in the process. The Proton Exora remained at the head of the C-segment MPV market while the Proton Iriz grabbed third place for B-segment hatchbacks. 

“February continued to be a difficult month for Malaysia’s automotive industry but it turned out very well for PROTON. Thanks to the efforts of the government to ensure a continuation of economic activity during the MCO, we were able to produce more cars and in so doing started to clear our backlog of orders. This is important as we need to consistently deliver on the bookings made to avoid a rush before the PENJANA incentives expire at the end of June this year. 

“The automotive sector continues to be vibrant with exciting new model launches sure to spark consumer interest and create healthy competition amongst PROTON and other brands, but we will continue to be cautious even as we push forward to avoid infection rates flaring up again and disrupting operations,” said Roslan Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer, Proton Edar. 

This month also saw PROTON launch four Special Edition models. The Proton Persona and Exora Black Edition as well as the Proton Saga and Iriz R3 Limited Edition were unveiled online on 18 February and are available in limited numbers. As of 26 February, 1,169 bookings have been placed from a total production run of just 3,500 units indicating strong interest from buyers.

PROTON to focus on revamping after sales 

PROTON’s 10-year strategy required the company to completely overhaul several operational areas in order to succeed. For example, of immediate importance was to improve product quality and today, PROTON’s quality scores have improved to the point of almost matching those of its partner, Geely. The distribution network was also drastically changed and today, the company has the most 3S/4S facilities in the industry and has moved its focus to a wholesale rather than consumer driven business. 

These measures have been effective with PROTON posting some of the highest sales growth numbers for the industry over the last two years. This year, the focus is on the improvement of the entire after sales value chain so that customers can enjoy a premium brand experience after buying their cars. 

“PROTON admits that some aspects of our business have not been able to keep up with our recent successes. While we have dramatically moved forwards in product quality, brand image and the technology offered in our cars, our after sales service has not made the same leap. This situation was exacerbated in 2020 by firstly Covid-19 and then our decision to invest in a completely new back-end ordering and delivery system. 

“As a result, we have experienced integration issues and customers requiring accident repairs as well as regular servicing have faced delays. We are working on these issues around the clock to overcome them in the shortest time possible but for now I urge all Proton owners facing delays to please contact our customer care hotline at 1-800-88-8398,” added Roslan Abdullah. 

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About the Author

Automotive journalist. Professional work on dsf.my and automacha.com. Personal writing found at driveeveryday.me. Instagram: @driveeveryday



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