Revived Proton sold 5,238 cars in February, 37% higher than a year ago

Despite February being a short month and the CNY holidays, Proton boosts its market share by 3% YoY

By AFIQ AZIZ / Pic By HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

Proton Holdings Bhd sold 5,283 vehicles in February, a 37% jump compared to the same month a year ago, as its SUV X70 continues to help the revival of the local carmaker’s fortune.

The carmaker, which has China’s Zhejiang Geely Holdings Group Co Ltd as an almost equal shareholding, introduced the much anticipated X70 at the end of last year. Sales from the SUV helped to reverse the dwindling market share.

The company said despite February being a short month and the Chinese New Year (CNY) holidays, Proton boosted its market share to 12.7%, an over 3% rise compared to the same period last year.

It said sales increased by 42% for the January-February 2018 period compared to its first two months last year.

“With February being a short month and traditional low period for car sales in Malaysia due to the CNY holidays, the majority of automotive brands projected a slower month.

“Proton, however, bucked the trend as sales showed a healthy increase of 37% year-on-year (YoY),” the company said in a statement yesterday.

The carmaker is also looking forward to regaining its market share, eyeing on a possible return to second place by year-end. The position is currently held by Honda Motor Co Ltd.

Proton sold 7,007 vehicles in January, with an estimation of 14.5% market share, mainly attributed to its SUV X70 sales performance.

Last month, the car manufacturer registered 2,823 units of Proton X70.

In total, 6,927 units of the SUV have been registered since it was launched on Dec 12, 2018.

“As at the end of February, over 20,000 bookings have been placed for Proton’s first SUV, exceeding its init ial expectat ion and firmly establishing itself as a segment leader despite being new to the market,” the company said.

Proton CEO Dr Li Chunrong said the company has been receiving a warm welcome over the product and hopes to deliver X70 to buyers within the stipulated time.

“The figure is remarkable as it was achieved despite two long festive holiday periods (Christmas and CNY), and encompassed only 78 days in total.

“Our next target will be to set new six-month and full-year registration numbers and we are confident of achieving them,” he said.

Joining the company’s campaign this month is the facelifted 2019 Proton Iriz which was previewed to the media on the final day of February.

A flash promotion was launched on the following day where a booking could be placed for only RM9.99 over the 11-day period.

“The 2019 Iriz is the first Proton model to receive major updates since the collaboration with Zhejiang Geely was announced.

“Together with the 2019 Persona, these two models will introduce our intelligent infotainment head units to a much wider audience, therefore bringing in-car Internet connectivity to a much wider audience,” Li added.