Proton to remain competitive post-SST exemption

The national carmaker expects the demand for the national vehicle to be sustained due to its offerings, high-innovation technology and competitive prices


PROTON Holdings Bhd foresees its cars remaining competitive in the market despite the end of the sales and service tax (SST) exemption on June 30. 

Proton deputy CEO Roslan Abdullah expects demand for the national carmaker to be sustained due to its offerings, including the quality of its products, high-innovation technology and competitive prices.

“I am confident that the demand and bookings for Proton cars will run as normal,” he told reporters during a media visit of Proton’s 1.5 turbo gasoline direct injection (TGDI) engine in Tanjung Malim today.

As of June, Roslan said Proton’s car production is on track to meet customers’ demand, despite the disruption in the first quarter of 2022 (1Q22) due to floods and microchip shortages.

However, he noted that Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd, which owns a 49.9% stake in Proton, has been very cooperative to ensure the microchip supply is sufficient.

Post-SST exemption period, Proton’s outstanding orders have reached 90,000 units which the group targets to deliver by 1Q23.

“We are targeting to resolve this backlog within the next six months or by the end of the year, and some may be earlier depending on the models. 

“At most, we hope to deliver any outstanding orders by March 31, 2023,” he added.

According to Roslan, Proton’s car booking surged 300% in the final week before the SST exemption ended, while it recorded 150,000 bookings in the first half of 2022 (1H22) with 60,000 units successfully delivered to customers.

Meanwhile, Proton today unveiled its new hi-tech engine assembly line at its Tanjung Malim facility which started operations in April.

“The facility produces the company’s 1.5 TGDI engine. 

“This is the first time it has been assembled outside of China and is one of the most advanced automotive engine assembly lines in the country,” he noted.

The project is also part of the RM1.8 billion earmarked by Proton to upgrade its Tanjung Malim facilities.

In an earlier statement, Proton said using the new assembly line will advance its human capital development goals, with 202 workers directly employed to work in the facility.

“With an average age of just 24 years, they represent the next generation of automotive talents for the nation,” Proton said.

Roslan said the new engine assembly line also showcases the company’s resolve in keeping its promises to its stakeholders.

“When the agreement was made to partner with Geely in 2017, one of our commitments was to invest in Malaysia’s automotive industry both financially and through the introduction of new high technology components,” he further said. 

As a locally assembled product, Proton sources parts from Malaysian and regional suppliers while for its new engine, there are currently 72 parts supplied by 19 Malaysian and four Asean vendors.