Proton sends Proton Saga to Kenya

The export will increase the trade value between Malaysia and Kenya, Radzaif says

by FARA AISYAH/ pic by TMR FILE

PROTON Holdings Bhd entered the Kenyan market by sending the first batch of cars to the republic last week.

The cars, totalling 30 units of Proton Saga, were shipped as completely knocked down (CKD) kits and will be assembled by Simba Corp, a diversified conglomerate with a long history of sales and assembly experience in the automotive industry.

“While strengthening Proton’s domestic position is critical to be truly acknowledged as an international carmaker, we need to see our products in places as diverse as Bangkok, Islamabad, Cairo and now, Nairobi,” Proton deputy CEO Datuk Radzaif Mohamed said in a statement last week.

“On a national level, this will also increase the value of trade between Malaysia and Kenya and help to contribute to the creation of jobs in Kenya’s automotive industry,” he added.

Proton’s decision to export the Proton Saga in a CKD format was made following close consultation with its Kenyan partner, Simba.

Apart from attracting lower taxes by being locally assembled, CKD units will help spur development in Kenya’s automotive manufacturing industry.

Kenyan High Commissioner for Malaysia Francis N Muhoro wishes for more Malaysian companies like Proton to discover the investment opportunities in Kenya.

“Malaysia and Kenya share many similarities, from a colonial past to our efforts in developing our nations.

“Proton’s entry into the country is not just as an entry into a market of 51 million people but it is also a gateway to a potential market of 1.3 billion inhabiting the African continent,” he said.

Proton Saga posted the highest sales numbers and led the company’s A-segment sedan market with 5,421 units sold in July.

Meanwhile, Proton’s C-segment SUV, the X70, saw 3,087 units sold, followed by its B-segment sedan, Persona (3,043) and the C-segment MPV, Exora (792).

The growth led to the national carmaker achieving its highest monthly sales volume since June 2012, with 13,216 vehicles in July 2020.

Proton said Malaysian car sales continued to rebound in July as a combination of tax-free incentives and consumer demand pushed the total industry volume to a 13-month high.

Proton Edar Sdn Bhd CEO Roslan Abdullah said there has been a positive effect on other areas of the business because of the encouraging sales.

“For instance, Proton Commerce, our in-house vehicle financing provider, saw a 100% increase in the number of loans disbursed compared to that of the previous month.

“For August, Proton looks to continue to excite the market and stimulate sales in preparation for more model introductions later in the year,” he said in a recent statement.

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