Proton records stellar January sales

We believe our strong emphasis on technology, safety and quality is what’s driving sales, says CEO

by ASILA JALIL/ pic by TMR FILE

PROTON Holdings Bhd said higher demand for its sedans and SUV saw the carmaker raise its sales by 20.2% year-on-year (YoY) in January to 8,506 new registrations — its most successful beginning- of-year sales in four years. The stronger January saw its market share rising by 4.9% to 19.5%.

Chinese shareholder Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd, which has a 49% stake in Proton, said the national car performed well within expectations and eclipsed major foreign brands to climb to the second-most sold car in January despite the short month due to the Chinese New Year holidays.

“This is a great start to the year on the back of our performance in 2019. January is always a tough month, but we still managed to have our best showing in four years,” said Proton CEO Dr Li Chunrong in the statement yesterday.

The remaining 51% stake in Proton is held by DRB-Hicom Bhd.

The locally assembled Proton X70 SUV leads the market segment with a total registration of 1,367 units.

Proton’s oldest model that had several facelifts over the years, the Saga, remains the mainstay representing nearly half of total sales with 3,871 units sold, which is a 72% increase YoY, while the Persona, Iriz and Exora also showed growth in performance compared to January 2019.

The Persona has nearly doubled in sales in January with 2,109 units sold. This represents an 84% increase compared to the corresponding period last year.

The sales of Iriz grew nearly five-fold with 785 units sold, which represents an increase of 465%.

Li said the figures show that their customers see the value in Proton’s much improved product line.

“This is especially for the Saga, Persona, Iriz and Exora which were all launched last year. We believe our strong emphasis on technology, safety and quality is what’s driving sales.

“However, we will not rest on our laurels and will continue to push the envelope on raising standards, both in quality and service,” he added.

Proton delivered 100,821 vehicles last year, recording almost a 56% increase compared to 2018 and the first since 2015 where it surpassed the 100,000 units mark.

It said the X70 boosted its overall sales, with four updated models introduced last year — the Iriz, Persona, Saga and Exora — registering double-digit percentage increase in sales.