The recent trend of posting strong sales numbers for PROTON continued in August 2018 as the company set a new high point for monthly sales in 2018 for the third consecutive month. Sales grew by 11.7% over July, making August the strongest sales month for Proton cars over the last 36 months. In total, 9,501 cars were sold marking not only a new record for the year, but also the highest sales volume since July 2015.
Market share increase forecasted as Saga and Persona continue to dominate overall sales In line with the increase in sales volume, a third consecutive month of growth in market share is projected. An estimated 15.4% share of Total Industry Volume (TIV) is expected for August though actual percentages will only be confirmed after the official numbers are published by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).
As was the case for the first seven months this year, the evergreen Proton Saga and Persona remained popular with car buyers as they continued to lead sales for the company. The Saga put in a sparkling performance and broke through the 4,000 unit barrier with 4,174 registrations. The Proton Persona meanwhile just missed out on breaching the 3,000 unit plateau with 2,957 registrations for August. Other models performed strongly as well, fuelled by buyers looking for new cars before the end of the month.
The looming implementation of SST caused disruption in the Malaysian automotive market as car buyers rushed to make purchases before the tax took effect. PROTON had previously stated there would be a change in car prices when the SST is enforced but those changes won’t affect buyers of Proton cars just yet. This is because PROTON will absorb the SST charge for all Proton models in September, ensuring buyers can still benefit from the tax-free price.
Having announced its intention to launch its first SUV towards the end of 2018, PROTON has also consistently reiterated its plan to upgrade its network of outlets and dealerships with the addition of more 3S and 4S facilities. As of 20 August, 96 development plans for 3S and 4S outlets (new and renovated outlets) have been approved. The targeted figure is 109 approvals by October this year.
The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed, departed for a working visit to China from 17 to 21 August which included visiting Geely Auto in Hangzhou on 18 August. The Chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, Li Shufu, hosted the event, allowing the Malaysian premier and PROTON senior management to meet with staff working there.
Tun Dr Mahathir also witnessed the signing of a Heads of Agreement (HOA) document between Geely Auto and PROTON to initiate studies focusing on the opportunity to manufacture and sell Proton cars in China. The move will grant PROTON access to the largest car market in the world.
The final for the first ever PROTON After Sales Service Competition (PASS) will be held at the Centre for Instructor and Advanced Skill Training (CIAST) on 29 September to 2 October. 15 finalists, selected from 5 regional competitions held from 20 July to 18 August, will compete for cash prizes and incentive trips worth a combined total of RM50,000.
Events showcasing Proton cars come to a thrilling conclusion Over the preceding months, PROTON ran a number of events to engage owners of its current range of cars. Three of these events concluded with exciting finales in August.
The first one was the PROTON 1 Tank Adventure, which ended with an epic final journey from Kulai, Johor to Juru in the state of Penang. 31 entries driving the Proton Iriz, Persona and Saga joined the event obtaining some amazing results including a new record of just 3.5L/100km for the Iriz. Participants were also given a special treat as the driving route led them to the PROTON Centre of Excellence (COE) where they were taken for taxi rides around the banked Proton test track before going for an exclusive visit to PROTON’s design studio to learn about the process of designing cars.
Another event was the Ace The Space challenge where four teams competed in the final. As with the preliminary rounds, the aim was to squeeze as many people as possible in to a Proton MPV though this time, a Proton Exora was used. The winning team managed to get 55 people inside, an achievement that earned them a mention in the Malaysia Book of Records.
PROTON also ran a contest with technology company Grab in August. Called the PROTON Wealth on Wheels (WOW) challenge, it recruited Grab driver-partners who used a Proton Iriz, Persona or Saga. Finalists were given the task to earn as much as possible in a single day using just one tank of fuel.