PROTON had sold 100,821 vehicles in 2019, making last year the first time the brand had crossed the 100,000 unit sales mark since 2015. The latest annual sales figure includes both domestic and export sales, and represents an increase of 55.7% over 2018’s numbers.
This milestone was achieved on the back of strong sales numbers in December 2019 where the company recorded a 112% year-on-year growth to 11,117 units. This is equivalent to a 20.5% share of Total-Industry-Volume (TIV) in December and is also the first time since July 2014 where the company had sold more than 11,000 cars in a month.
Overall market share for the year is approximately 16.7%, the highest since 2014.
One of the chief contributors to PROTON’s 2019 sales growth is the X70 which recorded a total of 26,331 units sold, which makes it the segment leader. The Proton X70 started its first full year of sales on a strong footing and maintained its leading position in its segment for the entire year.
The Saga, which is the original nameplate for the brand, was again the most popular A-segment sedan with 3,892 units sold in December. Recently refreshed in August 2019, the Saga recorded total annual sales of 38,144 units, equivalent to a 36% increase in volume.
The Proton Persona, the Company’s B-segment family sedan equipped with intelligent features, ended the month with 3,384 units sold. The figure places the Persona as the segment leader in December and is also the highest for the model since March 2012. Despite a few low months when PROTON transitioned between the 2019 Persona and its predecessor, total volume still grew by 29% to 21,876 units for the year.
“The Proton X70 and the Proton Saga are two major ingredients to PROTON’s sales success this year. We are humbled by the popularity of the Proton X70 and would like to say a big thank you to all our customers for their support, despite it being a brand new market segment for the Company. As for the Saga, with over 41,000 bookings and counting, it remains as our core product and is a popular choice regardless of a buyer’s age, status and purchasing power, making it a car for all Malaysians.”
“While sales of the Persona were very strong following the launch of the updated model, the numbers posted in December show many are becoming increasingly aware of the outstanding features, practicality and value we offer in our family sedan. PROTON is confident of maintaining these numbers in 2020, so the Company has at least three sales leaders in their respective segments,” said Dr Li Chunrong, Chief Executive Officer of PROTON.
As for the Exora MPV, which was also updated in May 2019, it recorded a 40% growth in sales. Its consistently strong sales means that it ends 2019 as the best-selling C-segment MPV in Malaysia, which is a strong result for a model that debuted over ten years ago.
“PROTON worked hard to launch four updated models last year, which was unprecedented. The sales results prove we are on the right track and the decision to introduce four models in 2019 with intelligent features has been warmly received by car buyers. At the same time, we also focused on improving the quality of our products and as at the end of 2019, our internal quality audit GCPA (Global Customer Product Audit) score is 1,190 points, an improvement of over six times compared to 2017 when we first started using the measurement. This is also a better quality score than Geely currently has, proving the success of our efforts,” added Dr Li Chunrong.
PROTON ended the year with 120 3S / 4S outlets nationwide and leads the other brands in this regard. For 2020, the company intends to continue to grow its sales network.
“Quality is a main priority at PROTON and as we continue our efforts to improve the quality of our products, we are also working to improve the quality of sales and aftersales service delivered at our outlets. In 2020, we will continue to invest heavily in outlet growth and training programmes to ensure our customers can experience an exemplary level of customer service. Combined with our updated model range and improved product quality, PROTON will be in a position to post even better numbers this year,” said Dr Li.