National carmaker Proton managed to close the month of May with 9,440 units, bringing a total of 57,283 units for the first five months of 2021.

Its sales in May moved in tandem with the decline of the overall Total Industry Volume (TIV), which it is forecasted to have reduced by 20% due to the semiconductor chip shortages as well as the reintroduction of the more stringent movement control order (MCO).

Proton last month started construction of the Tanjung Malim plant expansion, dedicated to stamping of large panels

The monthly market share of 20.3% is the second-lowest for the year with January being the lowest due to shortages in parts and kits.

While it wasn’t a great month for domestic business, its export division celebrated on the back of the successful delivery of 669 units in May, a 98-month high. With just exports of Proton Saga, X50 and X70 models, total sales for 2021 are now less than 100 units behind the total for the whole of 2020.

As with the trend for the first four months, the top three Proton models in May are the Saga with 3,786 units, the X50 with 1,899 units and the X70 closed the month with 1,523 units.

While suffering a large sales fall (-1,684 units), the Proton X50 is also said to be May’s best-seller in the B-segment SUV, where it was placed second in April with strong sales of over 3,500 units.

The Proton Persona saw a reduction of nearly 1,000 units versus April to register sales of 1,303 units while the Iriz and Exora ended the month of May with 526 units and 399 units respectively.

With the closure of retail car sales due to the ongoing MCO 3.0, Proton is taking the opportunity to work with their dealers on restudying the sales plan for this year, as the government on Monday announced the extension of the SST exemption to the end of this year.

The extension might not have an effect on lower-priced models such as the Proton Saga and Persona, but it makes a significant impact on the Proton X70 and X50, where the former is RM4,900 cheaper and sees a starting price of RM89,900.

The introduction of upcoming new models will also be rescheduled, as Roslan Abdullah, CEO of Proton Edar concluded, “We are also finalising our model launch plans for the rest of this year. The current MCO will push some of these dates back, but Proton remains committed to meeting our launch targets and creating some excitement for our customers in 2021.”

The models that are rumoured to be launched this year are the improved Proton Persona as well as a crossover-theme Proton Iriz.  


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