Local car maker Proton has just relaunched in South Africa after ten years of exiting the market. To be officially distributed by Combined Motor Holdings (CMH), Proton will first re-enter the South African market with its two SUVs, the X70 and X50. Both cars will be fully imported (CBU) by the Rainbow Nation. Set to join both SUVs in 2023 is the Proton Saga.
CMH Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jebb McIntosh said, “When the Proton brand became available, CMH jumped at the opportunity for several reasons, but mostly because we saw a gap in the market for a quality SUV within an affordable price bracket. There are many luxury brands selling SUVs in South Africa, but most are simply unaffordable to the average car buyer here.”
“Our plan is to have 25 dealers within six months, the first 17 of which have already undergone sales and technical training. A full range of replacement parts are also already in stock in our distribution centre so our customers can buy the vehicles with confidence,” he added.
So far in 2022, Proton has exported 4,040 cars worldwide, which is a 33.9% increase from January to August 2021. As Proton reclaims its market share in Malaysia, it plans to exploit its international market potential. With the relaunch in South Africa, more growth is to be expected in terms of Proton’s exports.
Regarding exports, Proton Deputy CEO, Roslan Abdullah said, “Proton is aggressively pursuing export sales as we believe it is one of the pillars to growing our overall volumes. There is a lot of potential for growth in our international markets, not just for the Proton brand but for the local automotive industry too so we want to establish a firm foothold while these markets are still accessible.”
“Our aim is to achieve 6,000 export sales this year and while we remain confident of achieving our goal, there is a lot of work ahead of us to identify suitable partners to gain entry to more countries to achieve bigger goals in the future.”
From January to August 2022, Proton registered 87,841 cars, of which 4,040 were exported. In August alone, Proton sold 15,880 cars with 938 exported units.