The 2020 Proton X70 is expected to be a major sales driver this year
by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
PROTON Holdings Bhd has received over 7,000 bookings of the locally assembled X70 in slightly over two weeks after its launch.
The 2020 Proton X70, which rolls out of the carmaker’s manufacturing hub in Tanjung Malim, Perak, is expected to be a major sales driver this year.
“To date, over 7,000 orders have been received, proving that demand in Malaysia for the intelligent SUV remains strong,” the company said in a statement yesterday.
The national carmaker said it registered 9,974 units of vehicles in February, led by the sales of Saga (3,934), Persona (2,653 units) and X70 (1,973 units).
Sales grew over 80% in February compared to the same month last year, garnering 23.8% of the month’s market share, a 77-month high since August 2013.
It said Saga remained as the company’s best-seller model with demand outstripping supply, while Exora continued to have a stranglehold on the C-segment MPV market.
Meanwhile, Iriz is said to have climbed to the second spot in the B-segment hatchback category as sales continue to be strong following the launch of the updated model last year.
Proton launched the completely knocked-down (CKD) of the X70 in mid-February.
The company’s 2020 flagship SUV comes in four variants namely Standard 2WD with an on-the-road price of RM94,800; Executive 2WD (RM106,800); Premium 2WD (RM119,800) and Premium X 2WD (RM122,800).
Standard packages include a five-year warranty of unlimited mileage, five-year data package of 1GB per month and five times free labour schedule service.
Analysts have largely viewed the sales prospect for Proton this year as positive in continuing the brand’s strong momentum garnered last year.
“The outlook should be good with the CKD X70 and upcoming X50. Proton may launch other facelift models as well,” Kenanga Research analyst Wan Mustaqim Wan Ab Aziz told The Malaysian Reserve recently.
Wan Mustaqim said, however, Proton could be slightly cautious at present due to disruption in the supply chain stemming from the Covid-19 outbreak in China.
Proton deputy CEO Datuk Mohd Radzaif Mohamed previously said there has been minimal disruption to local factory supply from the outbreak.
“We are lucky in that sense,” Mohd Radzaif said, adding that “the company is doing okay”.
Wan Mustaqim said Proton might have an issue if the outbreak prolongs more than three months. As such, he said Proton would need to find different sources most likely from other Asian countries like Indonesia.
Various reports said Proton is expected to launch the second SUV, the X50, in the second half of the year. Proton is said to introduce the X50, which is smaller than the X70, in a CKD version immediately.
The 2020 X70 has been updated with enhanced features, including an improved 1.8L 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 a 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.
“The X70 is a testament that Proton is more than capable of delivering valuable product propositions of a global standard,” Proton chairman Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar Syed Ali Rethza Albar said during the launch.
The locally assembled X70 is its most technologically advanced model produced to date.