Proton exports 1,635 units worth RM55m since June 2018

Proton has recorded increased sales of 61,235 units, up by 36% within the first 8 months of 2019

Pic By TMR File

NATIONAL carmaker Proton Nasional Bhd has exported 1,635 units valued at RM55.1 million between June 2018 and August 2019 to Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming (picture) said the shipments comprised mainly of the Gen-2, Preve and Persona models which were exported to primary markets such as Brunei, Mauritius, Jordan, Pakistan, Iraq, Zimbabwe and Egypt.

He was responding to Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi (GPS-Kapit) who asked the ministry to state the number and value of Proton cars being sold and exported to foreign countries.

Ong said in total, Proton has recorded increased sales of 61,235 units, up by 36% within the first eight months of 2019 — making it the second-best brand in Malaysia’s automotive market.

Proton has held this position since April this year, driven by sales of the X70, facelift models of the Exora, Iriz and Persona and an overall improvement in brand image.

Ong said he is confident that Proton’s sales within the country will continue to improve on government incentives to assemble more complete-knock down units locally, particularly for the X70 and the much anticipated X50 SUV model expected to be released in October 2020.

He added that the X70 continues to be well received, while the X50 will likely receive a rousing response as its price point is different from the X70.

“At the same time, I believe in the business model developed by Proton and its shareholder, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd, to export Proton cars in right-hand drive countries like Pakistan, Indonesia and others in Central Asia which will provide a bigger market for the company,” Ong said.

China’s Geely owns 49.9% of Proton in a deal that would see an upgrade to Proton’s car line-up and expand the company’s presence in China and other international markets.

In April, Proton secured RM1.88 billion in banking facilities from China Construction Bank to fund its expansion around the region. The loans are earmarked for Proton’s growth plans to be the No 1 automotive brand in Malaysia and No 3 in Asean by 2027.

Proton CEO Dr Li Chunrong recently announced that the company is on track to break even this year and is expected to become profitable in 2020, due to increase in sales volume.

Li said this after unveiling Proton’s new logo and tagline last month, which outlined the company’s ambition to be a global, modern and automotive brand.