Published on December 13th, 2020 | by Subhash Nair0
Proton Export Grew By 10.6% This Year Despite Pandemic
Proton says that this year was quite a successful one for them in terms of exports. In 2020 alone, despite the global pandemic, the company managed to grow their export business by 10.6%.
Before the end of the year, Proton says CKD operations in Kenya and Pakistan will be under way. They’ll also be debuting the Malaysian-made Proton X50 in Brunei, along with the Malaysian made Proton Saga in Bangladesh, Egypt and Nepal.
Historically, Proton has not had too much success with exporting vehicles. There was a faint glimmer of hope in the 1990s and early 2000s when Proton made some headway into the UK and Australia. However, most of the groundwork laid in those markets was for naught. Proton spent millions on cars like the Iriz and Persona to get them in shape to survive tough NCAP ratings. They spent millions more on Euro 6c-compliant engines (that never came to fruition).
With Geely, Proton has committed itself to a 10 year plan that involves the expansion of its international presence. Here’s the press release with more.
While PROTON has continued to buck the local industry trend with steady growth in 2020, its export activities have also been able to sustain some momentum. PROTON’s export business has grown 10.6% so far this year despite global restrictions put in place to curb the coronavirus pandemic. As the company strives to meet strong local demand for its products in December, traditionally the best month for automotive sales, PROTON will also be growing its presence internationally thanks to an unprecedented launch schedule.
As many as five market introductions will take place in the coming weeks with one marking the export market debut of the Proton X50, and another two signifying the kick-off for local assembly and sales of Proton vehicles in other markets.
“While local market leadership is one of our targets, it is equally vital for the Proton brand to build up its presence internationally, representing both the company and Malaysia. This was part of the 10-year plan that was devised at the beginning of our strategic partnership with Geely,” said Dato’ Sri Syed Faisal Albar, Chairman of PROTON Holdings Berhad.
“However, parts of the export plans were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as each country had different responses and restrictions. Still, thanks to our diligent work and the strong support of various government agencies, we are finally getting back on track. Therefore, in just a few short weeks, we will be announcing the commencement of CKD and sales operations in Kenya and Pakistan as well as the international market debut of the Proton X50 in Brunei,” he added.
Aside from the aforementioned countries, Bangladesh and Egypt will also be hosting virtual product launches for the current Proton Saga this month. This will be followed by a similar launch to occur in Nepal just as the year draws to a close.
Exports of PROTON cars began with the Proton Saga in 1989 and since then, 405,267 units have been sold in various markets globally. At the end of November 2020, the number of PROTON vehicles exported to other countries had already exceeded the total from the year before.