Despite the challenging business conditions in 2021, PROTON has managed to finish the year on a high note. The brand capped off the year by being sales leader in 4 model segments as well as by doubling its exports.
The Proton X50 was 2021’s best-selling SUV in Malaysia with a total of 28,774 units. PROTON sold 4,310 X50s in December, its 2nd consecutive month of surpassing the 4,000 mark thanks to an increase in production volume as well as deliveries.
Following it is the X70 which saw 16,375 units sold in the year, and leading the C-segment SUV category. With a combined volume of 45,149, the X50 and X70 represents about 40% of PROTON’s sales and makes Proton the best-selling SUV brand in 2021.
As expected, the bulk of PROTON’s remaining sales came from its bestselling model – Proton Saga, with 42,627 units. This also included the Saga CKD packs exported to several countries. The Saga jointly leads in the A-segment sedan category. The Exora too remains the leading C-segment MPV at 4,035 units.
For its overall sales performance, PROTON closed the year with 114,708 vehicles sold, a 4.5% jump from 2020. This is its highest sales achievement since 2014 and is also its 3rd consecutive year of growth. The company estimates its local market share at 22.7%, giving it 2nd place overall. The overall Total Industry Volume (TIV) for Malaysia is estimated to have shrunk by 4.6% to just over 505,000 units.
Meanwhile, its international sales were a major highlight for the company. PROTON exported 3,018 vehicles in 2021, growing the volume by over 100% and placing Proton as the number one automotive brand for exports last year. With local assembly operations ramping up in overseas markets, coupled with a hopeful loosening of trade restrictions, there is optimism the upward trend will continue in coming years.
“2021 was tough for the automotive industry as a whole and this is reflected in the reduction in TIV compared to the previous year. From a global chip shortage to a spike in COVID-19 numbers that lead to another lockdown to skyrocketing transport costs, there were many challenges for industry players to overcome. That is why PROTON’s sales growth in a year where the market contracted is significant as it is the result of careful planning and juggling of available resources,” said Roslan Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer, Proton Edar.
“Regarding export sales, we are equally proud about being the brand with the highest export volume in 2021 as it proves we are gaining traction overseas thanks to the joint efforts of our International Sales division and our foreign partners. While increasing shipping costs are a growing concern, our planned activities in 2022 means we expect export sales growth to accelerate in the coming years,” he added.
Proton Commerce Achieves Record Year
Another segment of growth for the company is its financing arm. For 2021, Proton Commerce ended the year with a new record of 14,550 disbursements. Further, its December disbursement was an all-time high of 2,132. PROTON’s in-house financing arm also became the leading OEM finance company and the most popular choice for Proton Saga customers.
The growth in its car financing unit also coincides with the growth in sales outlets. The number of 3S / 4S outlets has grown by 7 in 2021 to 147.
“The growth of PROTON’s ancillary businesses such as Proton Commerce and the increase in the number of outlets is directly linked to the number of vehicles we sell. As sales have grown so have our facilities to cater to an increased number of customers. I would also like to announce we have extended the warranty for the 6-speed automatic gearbox used by the CBU Proton X70 to 5-years with unlimited mileage. This is to further benefit our customers and give them added peace of mind,” added Roslan Abdullah.