In the 12 months of 2022, PROTON has sold a total of 141,432 cars, making it the 4th consecutive year of sales growth for the brand. 2022 is also its highest sales tally since 2013, and includes export sales. Fiscal year 2022 was a 23.3% increase in sales compared to 2021. This was despite a tough start to the year when a combination of floods which affected its vendors, as well as an acute shortage in chip supply which constrained production in the first 4 months.
On the other hand, its international sales increased by 79.1% (5,406 vehicles) allowing PROTON to finish the year as the leading automotive exporter in Malaysia. Meanwhile, the company ended the month of December 2022 with 14,750 vehicles delivered, its 4th best monthly performance for the year. Overall, PROTON managed to retain its 2nd place ranking in the local automotive sales chart with an estimated share of 19.6%. Total-Industry-Volume (TIV) for 2022 is estimated to be about 720,000 units, a new high for the local market.
Helping PROTON to 2nd place are the Proton Saga, X50, and X70. The Saga continues as the brand’s bestseller, recording sales of 55,878 units in 2022, an increase of 31.1% over the previous year and bagging 2nd position in the A-segment sedan ranking. This is despite the Saga being the model most acutely affected by the floods at the end of 2021 which saw sales dwindle to only 76 units in January 2022.
Meanwhile, the X50 is the company’s best-selling SUV with an annual sales achievement of 40,681 units (+41.4%) is also the overall best-selling SUV in the market. The larger X70 contributed 18,533 units to the company’s overall sales record and keeps its lead in C-segment SUV sales for the 4th consecutive year. Another segment leader for PROTON is the Exora which is the best-selling C-segment MPV in a rather limited category. The company sold 4,275 units of the refreshed MPV in 2022 (+5.9%).
On its other models, the Persona managed a total volume of 16,357 units despite tough competition and the chip supply issue. Its sister model, the Iriz however, continues to be plagued by production supply issues which set it back by 14.9%, selling only 5,709 units for 2022.
“2022 was a year of achievements and missed opportunities for PROTON. The effect of the floods at the end of 2021 spilled over in to the first quarter of the year and ensured we began 2022 on the back foot as we collaborated with our vendors to restore parts supply. Thankfully, the volume was made up over the next three quarters, but we are confident we could have achieved more and posted even better numbers if not for the disrupted start to the year. Still, PROTON now has sales growth for a fourth consecutive year, and we are proud of being the only automotive company in Malaysia to achieve that from 2019 to 2022,” said Roslan Abdullah, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, PROTON.
“Looking ahead towards 2023, PROTON is confident of achieving more growth as we add to our range of offerings with our new model launches this year. However, we expect TIV to recede from the record volume in 2022 as deliveries for orders placed during the sales tax exemption period will be fulfilled by the end of March. Interest rates are also expected to increase again this year so it will be tough for the automotive industry to continue an upwards trajectory,” he added.
After doubling its achievement in 2021, PROTON’s export sales continued to grow in 2022 (+79.1%) to close with 5,406 units. The growth was helped by increasing consistency in the shipping industry, growth in key markets such as Pakistan, and the addition of South Africa to the list of export markets.
Just like its domestic sales, the Saga continues to be the most popular export model with 2,408 units sold last year (+31%). Comparatively, its 2 SUV models performed even better though absolute volume is low compared to domestic sales. The X70 grew by 101% to 1,708 units, and the first full year of export sales of the X50 saw it grow by 277% (1,117 units).
“Growth in PROTON’s export markets remains vital to the company. We are now halfway through our ten-year business plan and export sales will need to account for a growing percentage of our volume for the company to achieve its goals. With new models being added and growth from our current offerings in 2023, we are confident of hitting even bigger numbers this year,” added Roslan Abdullah.