Proton’s long-term goals includes expanding its export sales growth. Its 2022 figures indicated it was on the right path with 5,406 units exported, marking a 79 percent increase compared 2021.
Nonetheless, it says the 2023 has been challenging as external factors affecting global economies have dampened sales potential in several major export markets. Despite the challenges, Proton is constantly exploring new markets and updating current ones.
The latest edition to its export markets for August 2023 saw its flagship Proton X90 SUV launched in 3 new markets, Mauritius, South Africa and neighbouring Brunei.
Mauritius was the first of the 3 as the X90 was unveiled on 4 August at the Le Salon de L' Automobile, SVICC, Pailles. The South African launch was quite a bit grander as it took place at the Festival of Motoring at the historic Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit from 25-27 August.
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Guests of honour at the South African launch included strong support from Malaysia’s Foreign Affairs ministry with the Honourable Yap Wei Sein, Acting High Commissioner for Malaysia in South Africa, in attendance.
Simultaneously, another Proton team was unveiling the X90 in Brunei at an equally glitzy event attended by the High Commissioner of Malaysia to Brunei Darussalam, Dato’ Raja Reza bin Raja Zaib Shah and Tan Kah Boon, the Chairman of Proton importers and dealers, Pad and Econ Motors.
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“2023 has been challenging for Proton’s export business as many of our export markets are experiencing economic challenges resulting in capital market controls. However, our efforts to explore opportunities in other markets are continuing with groundwork underway in Fiji, Ghana, Trinidad and Tobago and Iraq, among others,” said Steven Xu, Director of International Sales at Proton.
“Simultaneously, we remain focused in growing our presence in our current export markets. The debut of the Proton X90, the company’s first New Energy Vehicle (NEV), in three export markets took place just three months after its Malaysian launch on 7 May, helping to uplift Proton’s brand image in those markets. We view this as an investment in our future as we position ourselves to take advantage of improved market conditions in the future,” added Steven.
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Furthermore, and certainly not a coincidence, the launch of the X90 in Brunei in August 2023 also saw Proton Brunei record its best ever sales month yet. Popularity of Proton models in the country has been rapidly growing with and the first batch of the X90s has been selling rapidly.
For August 2023, Proton Brunei hit the coveted 100 units mark on the dot for the first time. In a country with a total industry volume of just 13,000 units annually, that figure does hold some weight.
“The strong sales performance of Proton cars in Brunei this year is a result of the strength of our model line-up as well as the efforts of our importers. Culturally, there are many similarities between car buyers in Brunei and Malaysia, and the brand has a long history in the country, so we are very pleased to see we can still experience sales growth in a matured market,” explained Steven.
Pricing for the Proton X90 range in Malaysia is as follows:
- X90 1.5 TGDI Standard – RM 123,800
- X90 1.5 TGDI Executive – RM 130,800
- X90 1.5 TGDI Premium – RM 144,800
- X90 1.5 TGDI Flagship – RM 152,800