Proton races for ‘No 1’ spot in 2021

It could be in terms of sales volume, satisfying customers, providing the best services, says Proton Edar CEO


PROTON Holdings Bhd is vying to be the No 1 carmaker in the country next year, either in customer satisfaction or potential into sales volume, said the automaker’s new sales and marketing VP.

Proton Edar Sdn Bhd CEO Roslan Abdullah said he has been instilling a mindset of becoming the top carmaker in the country in staff two months after entering the office.

“I am planting the image to our team and network that we want to be the No 1 in 2021, I think since two months I joined Proton. I told people during the national sales meeting that we want to be the No 1.

“It could be in terms of sales volume, satisfying customers, providing the best services. Being the No 1 is the dream that we want to achieve. If we achieve that, the volume will come along,” Roslan told The Malaysian Reserve in an interview.

Roslan, who was appointed to helm the Proton’s distribution, sales and after-sales unit in June, said the new aspiration was evident in the company’s sales performance in June and July.

Proton delivered 13,216 cars last month, its highest since June 2012, as the country recorded a rebound in car sales due to a combination of tax-free incentives and consumer demand.

On paper, Proton plans to become the No 1 automotive brand in Malaysia and No 3 in Asean by 2027.

The national carmaker closed 2019 at 100,821 units, up 55.7% from 2018 and the first time it crossed the 100,000 mark since 2015.

Proton had an estimated 16.7% of market share by the end of last year and clinched the No 2 position behind Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd and ahead of Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd in the third rank.

The firm is optimistic that it can defend last year’s figure, if not surpassing it, despite the local automotive market impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.

“I am very, very confident (to overachieve last year’s result) with the strong team and the product line-up that we have currently,” Roslan said.

He said the sales tax exemption has helped improve consumers’ sentiments, as well as boosting Proton’s sales volume and the industry as whole.

The CEO said Proton has new launches in the pipeline in the second half of the year, either a new model or special edition units.

However, he remained tight-lipped about the prospect of launching a new SUV in the coming months, widely speculated as the X50, a smaller vehicle than the highly successful X70.

“Mid-size SUVs are preferred to be driven around town for daily commuting. Proton should look into it and meet customer expectations.”

Roslan also said Proton has set a target of having 150 full-fledged one-stop centres of 3S or 4S (sales, service, spare parts and spray paint) by year-end, from the current 125 outlets.

Proton currently maintains its lead as having the most 3S/4S premises nationwide.