Published on July 3rd, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Geely Auto’s Partnership With PROTON Is Now Four Years Old
Yes, it was four years ago when Geely Auto Bought Into Proton.
Did you know that PROTON has been in partnership with Geely Auto for 4 years? Yes, in June this year, Geely and Proton celebrated their 4th year in partnership.
It seems like just yesterday that the Chinese automotive giant that also owns Volvo Cars and many others new and exciting automotive brands arrived in Malaysia and took away most of the prejudice associated with the Proton badge.
Yes, before Geely Auto arrived, Proton was a ‘sunk ship’ and had very little Malaysian consumer confidence due to reliability and quality issues. It took a ‘hard fist’ to raise this sunken ship and today Proton can proudly shout out that they have recorded 8.8 percent of growth and captured 4.4 percent more market share when compared to 2019.
Going into 2021, Malaysians (like much of the world) have still been dealing with the pandemic and Proton’s order books are full and the waiting list for the Geely rebadged vehicles, the X50 Crossover and X70 SUV are high.
The Proton developed vehicles like the Iriz, Persona and Saga also continue to sell well as they have been reworked and re-equipped by Geely engineers.
Press Release: PROTON is celebrating its fourth-year anniversary with Geely under a lockdown – factories and sales centres are closed at the moment. However, before the new lockdown, they reported three consecutive months of growth, reaching almost 15,000 units in a single month.
But how? Well, you may have heard about this crossover called the Proton X50 which was launched in October of last year. We’re not exaggerating when we say it was the most anticipated SUV in Malaysian history – more than 20,000 orders were placed as soon as it was announced. Needless to say, it became the best-selling SUV of its segment in Malaysia right after its launch.
Why was the X50 so successful? This is mostly due to its predecessor – the Proton X70 SUV – its bigger, badder, older brother that was launched in December 2018. Ever since then, people started looking at PROTON differently. They could see that the carmaker was serious in offering next-generation, technology-enabled products with the highest quality. So, what ties these two SUVs together? Well, they were both products originating from the Geely stable.
That’s not to say that PROTON only focuses on selling Geely-adapted vehicles. Far from it. In February 2021, they launched not one, not two, but four special edition models from their Legacy line – namely the Persona, Iriz, Exora and Saga. And what happened after the launch? PROTON reported their highest monthly sales figure the following month – its highest since September 2013!
Sure, there were hiccups with manufacturing – shortages in parts due to economic shutdown in China and manpower caused by home-quarantine. Even then, PROTON still managed to execute a ground-breaking ceremony for a plant extension that will house a new stamping facility amounting to about USD50 million.
When things are uncertain at home, PROTON shifted more focus on overseas markets, as was the plan all along. For 2020, they recorded a staggering 50% increase in export sales over the previous year and in this year PROTON has already exceeded yearly export numbers by 174%. Global interest in the brand also spiked with Pakistan and Kenya picking up local assembly rights.
With all the pandemic-related inconveniences, PROTON has not forgotten to join the battle against COVID-19 itself. Various medical equipment, co-contributed by Geely, was donated to the Ministry of Health, along with 130,000 face shields that were hand-produced by PROTON’s own staff force.