PROTON Pakistan Project Moves Ahead
The expansion of PROTON’s overseas market presence moves ahead with its Saga project in Pakistan. On 13 October 2021, PROTON reached a new milestone as the first Proton Saga assembled in Pakistan rolled off the production line.
The Proton Saga is the first model to be assembled in Pakistan by Al-Haj Automotive, the exclusive distributor of Proton there. Al-Haj had invested US$20 million in a new production plant in Karachi, with an initial capacity of 25,000 annually.
“The successful assembly of the Proton Saga in Pakistan is the culmination of the hard-work and untiring efforts of PROTON, the entire Al-Haj team, its suppliers and vendors. Even with COVID-19 restrictions in place, we continued to push to build our new assembly plant and as such, we are confident it will set new industry standards and enable us to introduce more products that meet the international quality levels set by PROTON,” commented Hilal Khan Alfridi, Chief Executive Officer of Al-Haj Automotive.
Next on the cards for Pakistan is the Proton X70. Launched in December 2020 as a CBU model, Al-Haj received the final batch of 154 CBU units recently as it begins local assembly. The X70 will be the 2nd Proton to be assembled by Al-Haj and is scheduled to roll off in December 2021. Over the course of the year, PROTON had exported 602 units of X70 to Pakistan.
“Despite Covid-19 severely affecting our project timelines in Pakistan, demand for Proton models in the country remains high for both the Proton Saga and Proton X70 attracting a strong following. Al-Haj has received 2,500 orders for the Saga and over 2,000 orders have been placed for the X70, so we wish to thank the customers for their belief in our products and especially their patience and understanding over the delays in receiving their cars,” said Roslan Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer of Proton Edar.
“Now that the final shipment of CBU units is on the way and local assembly has started for the Saga with the X70 to roll off the production line before the end of the year, we can finally work to catch up to market demand. This will allow Al-Haj Automotive and Proton to establish a strong market presence in the country to benefit future sales growth,” he added.
PROTON is making long-term commitments to its export markets. With export sales being one of the pillars to achieving its long-term goals, PROTON’s commitment to the Pakistan market goes beyond shipping the CKD packs and consumable parts. Currently, 20 PROTON staff specialising in various manufacturing related fields are stationed in Karachi to assist in assembly operations.
“After 37 years of vehicle assembly experience, PROTON has accumulated a wealth of in-house expertise that can be shared with our overseas markets. Having operated in various market conditions we can quickly adapt to different scenarios, so we hope to be able to play a major role in ensuring the success of the brand in Pakistan,” Roslan explained.