Despite the economic downturn as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, national carmaker Proton still managed to close 2020 on a high, with a total of 109,716 vehicles sold for the entire year.
The positive sales figure represents an 8.8% growth over the 100,821 units sold in 2019, raising the national carmaker’s market share to an estimated 21.1% – 4.4% increase from the previous year. In December 2020 alone, the company managed moved 13,306 units – a healthy increase over the 11,411 units sold in November.
Proton’s achievement in 2020 is driven in large by the bread-and-butter Saga, with 46,527 units sold in the year, followed by the Persona with 23,917 units sold – the latter taking the crown of the best-selling B-segment sedan in 2020.
The ever-popular Proton X70 is up next with 21,944 units sold in 2020, making it the highest-volume C-segment SUV of 2020. Meanwhile, Proton has also managed to deliver 3,787 units of the recently-unveiled X50 – just over 200 units short of its 4,000 units target for the year. The Proton Iriz and Exora sold 7,636 and 5,849 units respectively.
The encouraging performance is further bolstered by the massive 49.8% jump in export volume, with presence in Kenya, Pakistan, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Brunei. Kenya saw the first Proton Saga roll off the local CKD assembly line just in December last month, while both the Saga and X70 will also be locally-assembled in Pakistan later this year, to be built in the new Karachi assembly plant.
The year 2020 also saw the national carmaker increase its sales network by another 20 3S and 4S centre nationwide, bringing the total number of outlets to 140. As part of the company’s long-term business evolution plan, Proton has also transferred ownership of 49 of its own sales branches. The national carmaker says that this will allow the company to focus more on product development, product quality, aftersales service and export activities.
Proton CEO Dr. Li Chunrong said, “We are grateful to have achieved this level of performance against the backdrop of 2020. To describe it as challenging would be an understatement but we persevered. Our results were backed by many factors, trust from our customers, support from the government, commitment from vendors, resilience of our dealers and also the diligence of our staff.
“2020 was a real test of Proton’s mettle as we had only just begun our new trajectory. The nature of this pandemic for an organization like ours, which depends on global supply chains, put great strain on the business.
However, a combination of good strategy and hard work has left us not only with an increase in sales against a decreasing market but a renewed belief in our product strategy, quality and commitment to our customers … We will continue to put the pedal to the metal in 2021 and strive to improve all aspects of the business,” he added.