by SULHI KHALID/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
PROTON Holdings Bhd has reclaimed the second spot in total sales for Malaysia’s automotive market, registering sales of 8,590 units in July, according to the national carmaker.
The growth trend is underpinned by its bestselling model, the five-seater SUV X70 and Proton Persona for B-segment sedan.
Proton CEO Dr Li Chunrong said Proton’s return to second place overall in the Malaysian automotive market has happened ahead of schedule.
“The growth in demand for our products show that we are on track to meet our long-term targets and for the rest of 2019, we intend to consolidate our position to finish the year ranked second for the first time in four years,” he said in a statement.
The last time the company was in a similar position was in March 2016, while the last calendar year it finished in second place was back in 2015.
Proton’s overall market share for the year is estimated to be 15%. Its market share for the month is estimated at 16.5% with a total industry volume estimated at 51,960 units Li added that the automotive company is confident that it will post better results in the future, supported by the launch of the updated Proton Saga and other product introductions in the pipeline.
Following the success of its SUV model, Proton has unveiled its compact B-Segment, Proton X50 which will be ready by August 2020.
Proton X50 will be based on the Geely Binyue platform and the carmaker will spearhead the development together with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd for the right-hand drive version.
Currently, Proton’s total sales stand at 52,269 units compared to 35,561 for 2018, which equates to a 47% growth in overall year-on-year sales.
Proton X70 continues to be the leader in its SUV segment with 1,932 units delivered in July and a total of 17,023 units for 2019.
Meanwhile, since its launch in April this year, the sales for that updated Proton Persona have almost doubled from the same period in 2018.
Around 2,720 units were delivered in July, making the model the best-selling vehicle in the B-segment sedan market, overtaking Japanese rivals that traditionally dominate the segment.
Its Proton Iriz has recorded a significant growth in sales as 974 units were delivered in July and 3,035 units have been sold thus far.
Proton Saga registered a decline in sales as it managed 2,381 units in July for a year-to-date total of 17,722 units.
Li said its company is humbled by the trust put by Malaysians car buyers as the carmaker reclaimed its spot in marking higher sales growth.
“While Proton X70 continues its trajectory, Proton’s other models are the staple of our performance.
“Proton Persona is now the sales leader in a segment which is ruled by Japanese products, while the Proton Saga is still a popular choice among first-time car buyers looking for a safe, reliable and economical vehicle,” he said.
Proton Holdings is 50.1%-owned by DRB-Hicom Bhd and 49.9% by Chinese-based Geely.