No thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic and the second MCO, Malaysia’s automotive sales for January saw a major drop in volume for most major players.
For instance, Proton finished the month ranked second by delivering 5,964 units. This represents a sales decrease of 29.9% compared to January 2020. Market share is estimated at 18.5%, about 1.0% less compared to the same period last year. The overall figures though, are a reflection of supply not being able to meet demand rather than a reduction in bookings.
Proton Saga, the King
Leading Proton’s sales in January was of course, the Proton Saga. With 2,583 units delivered, it was the second most popular A-segment sedan in the country. The Proton X70 and Proton X50 SUV twins continued to lead the C-segment SUV and B-segment SUV (five-seat) categories, though registered units were down to 892 and 1,082 units respectively.
For the latter, a total of 4,809 units have been delivered since the official launch on 27 October last year. Other models posted similar performances.
And then we have the Proton Persona which finished second in the B-segment sedan category while the Proton Exora maintained its standing as the best-selling C-segment MPV in the country. The Proton Iriz ended January in third place for B-segment hatchbacks.
“January was a difficult month for Malaysia’s automotive industry. Hopes were high the momentum built at the end of 2020 would be carried forward especially after the announcement of PENJANA incentives remaining in place until the end of June this year. Unfortunately, the second MCO announcement put a damper on those hopes.”
100% Support to the Government
“Still, Proton as well as the rest of the industry is in full support of all measures the government has in place to control the rate of infection. The safety of all Malaysians needs to remain as the main priority and companies need to pivot in order to achieve their goals in a changed market environment,” said Roslan Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer, Proton Edar.
While Proton’s order book remains healthy with orders carried over from the end of last year, the company says that it is still working hard for supply to catch up to demand.
“Measures like the MCO have naturally affected the number of customers coming to showrooms, but we can receive bookings online helping to boost our sales. However, our supply lines have been disrupted over the last few months by the coronavirus making it difficult to ensure a steady flow of parts needed to build our cars. It’s something all car manufacturers have been facing for the past year but we are hopeful that with the arrival of a vaccine things will stabilise by the middle of the year,” said Roslan Abdullah.