Parts supply from China sufficient despite virus outbreak, says Proton

For now, the impact is minimal, but we are monitoring the situation, says deputy CEO


PROTON Holdings Bhd has sufficient parts and components sourced from China for local assembly operations, despite the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The national carmaker sees minimal disruption to local factory supply from the outbreak, though some components are sourced from “quite a number” of vendors in China, deputy CEO Datuk Mohd Radzaif Mohamed said.

“For now, the impact is minimal, but we are monitoring the situation. We have sufficient stock to meet our requirements. We are lucky in that sense,” he said after the launch of the locally assembled Proton X70 in Subang Jaya, Selangor, yesterday.

The company is “doing okay” in terms of parts supply, Mohd Radzaif said, adding that some of the factories in China have reopened after closing due to the coronavirus.

China is the world’s manufacturing powerhouse, while the Hubei Province, the epicentre of the coronavirus infection, is a major automotive hub in the country.

Global carmakers including Nissan Motor Co Ltd, Hyundai Motor Co, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Renault SA have temporarily closed their automotive plants due to China’s supply shortage.

Proton yesterday launched the locally manufactured version of its X70 — the company’s first SUV — in four variants.

The locally assembled X70 is its most technologically advanced model produced to date.

Production of the completely knocked-down version of the X70 began in December last year at the carmaker’s manufacturing hub in Tanjung Malim, Perak.

The 2020 X70 has been updated with enhanced features, including an improved 1.8L turbocharged gasoline direct injection (TGDi) engine, a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, front ventilated seats, power tailgate with foot sensor and rear reclining seats.

The new X70 delivers 5% more torque to 300Nm, provides 13% improvement in fuel consumption to 7.6L per 100km, which allows it to gain energy-efficient vehicle status, and accelerates from a standstill to 100kph in 9.5 seconds; one second faster than the original model.

On-the-road prices are RM94,800 for the Standard 2WD variant, RM106,800 (Executive 2WD), RM119,800 (Premium 2WD) and RM122,800 (Premium X 2WD). Standard packages include five-year warranty of unlimited mileage, five-year data package of 1GB per month and five times free labour schedule service.

“The 2020 Proton X70 is a significant accomplishment for us as it not only represents the first model of the new line, but also because we have matched and exceeded the quality standards of the model we launched 14 months ago,” Proton chairman Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar Syed AR Albar said.

The X70 is a testament that Proton is more than capable of delivering valuable product propositions of a global standard, he added.

The carmaker has employed new manufacturing processes such as robotics, automated guided vehicle, state-of-the-art trim and final shop, and vehicle rollout at its Tanjung Malim plant.

It sold more than 29,000 units of the X70 last year, pushing sales 55.7% year-on-year higher in 2019, along with boosts from the refreshed Proton Saga and Persona models.

The X70 clinched the “Overall Car of the Year 2019” award at the 18th Malaysia Cars of the Year awards, among various other accolades.