It’s taken 40 months, but PROTON has returned to second spot in total sales in Malaysia’s automotive market. The national carmaker was last in the position in March 2016. Sales of 8,590 units for July marked a seventh consecutive month of positive growth, the only brand to achieve such a feat in 2019. This follows a strong showing in June. Market share for the month is estimated at 16.5 percent, with Total Industry Volume (TIV) at approximately 51,960 units. The company’s overall market share for the year is around 15 percent.
Twelve months ago, the Malaysian tax holiday between June to August 2018 gave local automotive sales a boost. PROTON alongside all other automotive makes greatly benefited from the move, posting the year’s numbers during the three month period.
What’s interesting is that in 2019, despite the absence of the tax holiday, PROTON continued to show positive sales growth.
The company posted strong sales for June, with a 23 percent growth, and a further 6 percent in the subsequent month. Despite growth reducing to a single digit, PROTON is the only automotive brand to boast positive growth for the month.
For the current year, total sales now stand at 52,269 units compared to 35,561 for 2018–an impressive 47 percent growth year-on-year.
Dr Li Chunrong, chief executive officer of PROTON said in a statement that the company’s return to second place has happened ahead of schedule. PROTON is on track to meet its long term targets and it intends to consolidate its position to finish the year ranked second for the first time in four years.
With the imminent launch of the updated 2019 Proton Saga as well as other products in the pipeline, the company is “quietly confident of even better results in the future.”
The catalyst for PROTON’s resurgence and growth can be credited to the top-selling Proton X70. The Premium and Executive variants continue to be the leader in their respective SUV segments with 1,921 units delivered in July, and 17,023 units overall for 2019.
That said, the carmaker’s bread-and-butter offerings also showed starling performances. Its PIES lineup–Persona, Iriz, Exora and Saga, contribute around 78 percent of overall sales.
In fact, the updated Proton Persona is the sales leader in the B-segment which is traditionally ruled by Japanese makes. Since its launch in April this year, sales of the 2019 Persona have almost doubled over the same period in 2018. PROTON delivered 2,720 units in July, with a total of 10,034 units delivered so far. Sales are up 3 percent year-on-year, and the company expects this figure to continue to grow in the last five months of the year.
Launched together with the 2019 Persona in April, the 2019 Iriz also showed positive growth since its debut. The award-winning B-segment hatchback has seen 3,035 units delivered to customers for the current year, with 974 units delivered in July alone. What’s impressive is that sales are up by 53 percent year-on-year, a testament that improvements in the uprated car has piqued customers’ interest.
The iconic Proton Saga, due for an update in August, managed 2,381 units in July, for a year-to-date total of 17,722 units. While sales took a dip compared to the year-ago month, overall sales are still up 14 percent.
Last month, the company said that it continues to focus on expanding its customer touchpoints and customer service. It now as 91 3S/4S outlets nationwide. It aims to be the leader in Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) and Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI).