Proton re-enters the South African market

The national car manufacturer will be selling the Proton X70 and X50 through the newly established CMH dealership network


NATIONAL car manufacturer Proton Holdings Bhd has returned to the South African market after ten years away from the country.

This time around, Protons will be selling two models, the Proton X70 and X50, exclusively through the newly established Combined Motor Holdings Ltd (CMH) dealership network.

Both are available as completely built-up units to customers and will be joined by the Proton Saga later in the year or at the beginning of 2023.

Speaking about the importance of the brand in South Africa, CMH CEO Jebb McIntosh said, “When Proton became available, we jumped at the opportunity for several reasons, but mostly because we saw a gap in the market for a quality SUV within an affordable price bracket. There are many luxury brands selling SUVs in South Africa, but most are simply unaffordable for the average car buyer here.”

“Hence, our plan is to have 25 dealers within six months, the first 17 of which have already undergone sales and technical training. A full range of replacement parts are also already in stock in our distribution centre, so our customers can buy the vehicles with confidence,” he added.

In regards to Proton’s growth in exports, the company stressed that export sales remain a vital part of their business plan.

Meanwhile, Proton deputy CEO Roslan Abdullah said while the company continues to reclaim its market share in Malaysia’s automotive market, the company would exploit the latent potential in international markets to make its push towards becoming a leading automotive brand in the region.

“For 2022, export sales as at the end of August stand at 4,040, an increase of 33.9% over the total number of sales for 2021. With the addition of South Africa to the list of export markets, the company is hopeful of ending the year with an even bigger percentage of growth,” Roslan said in a statement.

At the same time, Roslan revealed that the company is aggressively pursuing export sales as we believe it is one of the pillars to growing their overall volumes.

“There is a lot of potential for growth in our international markets, not just for the Proton brand but for the local automotive industry too, so we want to establish a firm foothold while these markets are still accessible.

“Our aim is to achieve 6,000 export sales this year and while we remain confident of achieving our goal, there is a lot of work ahead of us to identify suitable partners to gain entry into more countries to achieve bigger goals in the future,” he added.