Proton to break even this year, profitable in 2020

Company envisions to be in the top 3 car manufacturers in Asean

by RAHIMI YUNUS/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

PROTON Holdings Bhd is on track to break even this year and set to become profitable in 2020, due to the increase in sales volume that is part of the group’s turnaround programme.

CEO Dr Li Chunrong is positive on the progress of the turnaround which is expected to make the local carmaker a leader in Malaysia and on the top three spots in Asean.

He said the company is also envisioned to sell 400,000 cars per year by 2027 to be in the top three car manufacturers in the region.

“We have improved a lot. However, considering the requirements from the board, we have a long way to go,” Li said after unveiling the company’s brand-new logo, as well as its next goals and objectives.

Proton set its revival journey after forging a new partnership with China’s automotive titan Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd in 2017.

The national carmaker is now 50.1% owned by DRB-Hicom Bhd, while Geely holds the remaining 49.9% stake.

In the first eight months of this year, Proton posted a 36% growth in sales to 61,396 units from the 45,062 that was sold in the previous year’s corresponding period.

Proton bucked the trend of declining sales, largely seen in the market, due to the high base effect from the tax holiday in 2018.

The car manufacturer managed to wrestle the second spot in terms of sales after Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

Proton was the only major manufacturer that recorded a double-digit growth in 2019, driven by the sales of its flagship SUV, the X70, and face-lifted models Saga, Iriz and Persona.

Proton has also focused on improving customer service level as part of its turnaround strategy.

To date, Proton has 102 3S/4S (sales, service, spare parts and body paint shop) centres nationwide and is expected to establish more.

The brand-new logo that was launched yesterday comes with a new tagline “Inspiring Connections”.

With the new aspiration, Proton is expected to be a global automotive brand, underpinned by three core values — namely innovative technology, reliability and international.

“As we unveil our new logo, we are marking the next chapter in Proton’s journey.

“I am proud to say that the past two years have proven that we are capable of making this journey to becoming a modern automotive brand a success,” Proton chairman and DRB-Hicom Bhd group MD Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar Syed Ali Rethza (picture) said yesterday.

Li added that the new logo will be first fitted on the locally assembled X70, while the new image will be rolled out to dealers in two years.