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.
As we embrace the new norm, many of us will be spending a considerable amount of time in our cars to commute daily to work. But is the cabin of your car truly a cleaner environment?
Even when travelling with the windows closed, the air quality inside can be affected by the air from the outside. It is therefore important for cars to be equipped with cabin air-filtering capabilities.
However, like many other parts in your car such as spark plugs and oil filters, cabin filters are one of the parts we frequently replace in our cars but we rarely talked about.
You may be surprised to learn that PROTON has equipped its entire range of cars, from the Proton X70 to the Saga, Persona, Iriz, Exora and Proton X50 with N95 Cabin Filters as an integral part of the air conditioning system.
N95 — An extra layer of protection
The biggest difference between an N95 Cabin Filter and the average dust and pollen filter is the efficiency of filtration. An N95 Cabin Filter can remove 95% of particles and contaminants that are larger than 0.3µm (microns) and 98% of PM2.5 dust particulates creating a highly efficient air purifier to filter smoke particulates, dust, bacteria and other pollutions; ensuring that the air inside the cabin remains clean.
In simple terms, for contaminants entering the car due to opening of doors & windows, the N95 Cabin Filter can eliminate bacteria as well filtering more than 80% of allergens from cats, dogs, pollen & aphid; breaking down PM 2.5 components that have adverse effects on the human body.
Proton Intelligent Air Purification System (P-IAPS)
More interesting though, is the P-IAPS in the Proton X70. To provide you with a cleaner breathing environment, the air filtration system in the Proton X70 comes factory equipped with the PROTON Intelligent Air Purification System (P-IAPS), that combines the benefits of an air purifier system and an N95 Cabin Filter.
The IAPS uses a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter that removes 99.97% of particles larger than 0.3 microns while its activated carbon removes odours, formaldehyde and adsorbs and purifies smoke particulates; whilst the ioniser discharges negative ions to cleanse the air.
By combining the Air Purifier System with the N95 Cabin Filter, the PROTON Intelligent Air Purification System (P-IAPS) acts as a barrier against contaminated air making its way into the cabin, offering a high level of protection against airborne pollutants for a cleaner and healthier environment.
And there you have it, folks, yet another reason to own a brand-new Proton car, for a cleaner cabin air quality for you and your family. If you do own a Proton and are taking it servicing soon, make sure that you’re getting an N95 Cabin Filter.
Those of you who are eagerly waiting for your X50 to arrive, rest assured that this SUV too, is fitted with the N95 Cabin Filter. At the end of the day, we’d say it’s worth the extra investment, because after all you can’t put a price tag on the wellbeing of you and your family.
Perodua just announced that it registered 220,154 vehicles in the whole of 2020, which is 10,154 units more than its 210,000-unit sales target for the year.
“We thank all Malaysians for choosing Perodua and the government for extending the sales tax exemption under PENJANA to sustain the sales momentum which the automotive industry is now enjoying,” said Perodua President and Chief Executive Officer Dato’ Zainal Abidin Ahmad.
He added that Perodua manufactured 220,968 vehicles in 2020 despite temporarily halting production between March and May 2020 due to the Movement Control Order (MCO).
“Despite this, the tax exemption introduced in June 2020 succeeded in spurring car buyers’ interest that was able to sustain the players as well as the local automotive ecosystem.
“Perodua also hit the one million Energy-Efficient Vehicle (EEV) milestone in November 2020 – exactly two years after achieving the half-million – further solidifying our position as Malaysia’s largest EEV manufacturer,” said Dato’ Zainal.
Dato’ Zainal said that the better-than-expected sales achievement had a direct positive impact on the Malaysian automotive ecosystem, helping both independent parts suppliers and dealers weather the challenges in 2020.
“We look forward to a better year ahead as there are positive indications that the COVID-19 pandemic would be overcome with the recently-released vaccines. We will announce our 2021 targets and updates later,” he said.
Dato’ Zainal said that for now, Perodua will continue to fulfil outstanding orders and push for higher sales in 2021.
“We wish all Malaysians a safe, healthy and happy 2021. Perodua will never stop improving all aspects of our business to continue to satisfy and surpass all your mobility needs and wants, including continuing to push the fuel-efficiency envelope via advanced technology that will remain affordable,” said Dato’ Zainal.
In an effort to provide support in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, Proton today handed over eight units of the Proton X70 to the Ministry of Health (MOH) to be used in Sabah.
It is said that the vehicles will be used to assist in the Ministry of Health’s logistics and surveillance efforts in the ongoing COVID-19 fight. The handover was done at Fook Loi Corporation’s Proton 4S outlet in Kota Kinabalu.
The eight units of Proton X70 that were loaned to the Ministry of Health in Sabah is in addition to the 50 units of the Proton X70 that were given in March during the beginning stages of the pandemic.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is probably one of the most challenging times we have faced as a nation. As a Malaysian brand, Proton feels that it is our duty to step up, and we have been supporting the government’s efforts from the outset. Logistics in Sabah is far more challenging than in the peninsular. This next batch of X70s will act as ferry vehicles for doctors, nurses and MOH officials as and when needed. We hope our contribution will help to ease the logistical needs of medical frontliners in Sabah,” said Roslan Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer of Proton Edar.
Other than providing vehicles, Proton also produced 60,000 units of face shields in April at their Shah Alam factory.
These face shields were distributed to government hospitals in the country, as well as other frontliners such as members of the police and armed forces.
PROTON CONTINUES EFFORTS TO SUPPORT MEDICAL FRONTLINERS
Kota Kinabalu, 3 December 2020 – National car maker PROTON today handed over eight units of the Proton X70 to the Ministry of Health (MOH) for use in Sabah. The vehicles will be used to assist in the Ministry’s logistics and surveillance efforts in the ongoing COVID-19 fight. The handover was done at Fook Loi Corporation’s Proton 4S outlet in Kota Kinabalu.
Throughout the year, PROTON has been actively supporting MOH in various ways to help in the fight against COVID-19. The loan of the eight cars to MOH Sabah is in addition to the 50 units of the Proton X70 loaned to the Ministry at the onset of the pandemic in March.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is probably one of the most challenging times we have faced as a nation. As a Malaysian brand, PROTON feels that it is our duty to step up, and we have been supporting the government’s efforts from the outset. Logistics in Sabah is far more challenging than in the peninsular. This next batch of X70s will act as ferry vehicles for doctors, nurses and MOH officials as and when needed. We hope our contribution will help to ease the logistical needs of medical frontliners in Sabah,” said Roslan Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer of Proton Edar.
Ever since the government announced the PENJANA plan in June where cars are being sold without Sales and Service Tax (SST), car sales have gone through the roof, and with models like the Proton X50 making their debut during this period, things were definitely looking good for our National carmaker.
But that doesn’t mean that dealers have been just sitting and shaking their legs while counting money. Since the demand has been exceptionally high, so is the pressure to deliver, says Andrew Quek, the Managing Director of Setia Gemilang Auto, the most successful Proton dealership in the country at the moment.
“Business has been good this year, but it was definitely tough because of the Covid-19 Pandemic. The Penjana plan which was introduced by the government in June actually helped our sales tremendously, helping us to manage our business over the past five months.”
Speaking of managing, Andrew said that the biggest challenge of operating a dealership in 2020 has been managing the expectations of customers and keeping them happy.
“There are many types of customers, and every day is a different challenge. Over the years, at least for myself, I learned that for any business to survive – the most important thing to do is to listen to customers when they have an issue, and then finding ways to settle them.”
“Some of these issues cannot be solved immediately. So, the least we try to do is provide them with regular updates on the progress with their vehicle. This way, it shows them that we care about their issues,” said Andrew.
Speaking about the overwhelming response for the Proton X50, Andrew said that the car basically sells itself, as the market has been eagerly awaiting the sale of the car way before its launch date.
When asked about what makes Setia Gemilang the most successful dealer in the country, Andrew said that one of the factors is repeat customers.
“I find that we have the same buyers, buying new cars from us. They are repeat-customers. For instance, many customers who bought an X70, actually came back to buy another model during the SST exemption period. So, in our outlet, it is like a growing community of same purchasers.”
“Another factor is that Setia Gemilang is a 4S centre, offering a complete range of needs from sales to service. Personally, I think that our customers actually like the outlet.”
“With amenities like sufficient seating area, free refreshment, free Wi-Fi, as well as ample parking space, there is no surprise that our customers are happy. In addition, customers have also told me that they feel safe, since we have been strictly following Covid-19 related SOPs, providing each customer that enters the premise with free face shields, thorough sanitization, as well as face masks (if they don’t have one).”
When asked about day-to-day activities at the dealership at the moment, Andrew said that apart from the usual test drives, dealerships are providing free sanitisation for customers and frontliners’ cars.
“We do this as part of our social responsibility, and more so, as Malaysians coming together to beat this pandemic. They give their time to public service to ensure compliance, safety and our well-being, hence we are showing appreciation every way we can.”
Aiming to sell more than 475 cars a month in 2021 (a record they set in July 2020), Andrew said that Setia Gemilang’s main objective in 2021 is to open another outlet in Klang Valley in order to be able to reach out to a larger customer base.
Having sold a total of 2,826 vehicles in 2019, Setia Gemilang was the no.1 Proton dealer in Malaysia in terms of sales figures. As for 2020, the outlet has already sold 2,848 vehicles as of October, and remains in the lead and well on track to be the top dealer for another year.
Setia Gemilang Auto Sdn Bhd is located at Lot 7959, Jalan Batu Tiga (Off Jln Subang) Subang, Shah Alam Selangor Darul, 40100 Shah Alam, Selangor.
Proton announced that one of its employees was tested positive for Covid-19 on 14th October 2020.
The employee who is from the Research & Development Department in Shah Alam, was immediately put under the care of a government facility.
The company which has been strictly adhering to the protocols issued by the authorities, immediately put into place its mitigation plans to ensure prevention of further spread.
Contact tracing was begun and all employees from the respective departments have been asked to stay away from the office and self-quarantine.
This is being followed by deep cleansing and a disinfection of the premises and any suspected areas. As this employee was not in any way customer facing, there is less concern about direct exposure to clients.
The company reassured all its customers that it will continue to strictly follow all guidelines and procedures laid out by the authorities as it has been doing from the start of the pandemic.
PROTON said that it will continue to monitor the situation closely before deciding on any further course of action if necessary.
As the country continues to transition towards the recovery phase of the pandemic, Isuzu Malaysia has announced that the company will give precedence to fulfilling customer orders, particularly those that were placed before the Movement Control Order (MCO) came into effect in March.
Some 300 orders for various Isuzu D-Max models were received prior to the lock-down and the priority will be to ensure these customers receive their vehicles quickly following the resumption of operations.
Efforts are underway to ensure vehicles are speedily processed from the plant in Pekan, Pahang to be dispatched to dealerships around the country where a new delivery processes has been put in place to ensure customers and staff are well-protected in line with the government’s call to effectively curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Key among the comprehensive protocols include a temperature record of every staff member prior to the start of each work day, compulsory use of surgical masks, disinfecting of all touch points in the outlets three times daily while demonstration vehicles and customer vehicles are disinfected after each human contact.
All visitors to Isuzu outlets are also required to have their temperatures taken using an infra-red thermometer while hand sanitizing liquid and if required, a face mask will be made available at all facilities. Customers collecting their new vehicles will be informed of the delivery dates by their sales advisor and provided an appointed time of the hand-over in order to avoid crowding or prolonged exposure in the outlet.
Isuzu vehicle owners whose vehicle warranties were to have expired during the MCO period will automatically enjoy a further 30 day extension from May 13, 2020 while those whose vehicles were also overdue for scheduled maintenance during this period can rest assured that their warranty will not be affected by the delay.
Customers intending to bring their vehicles in for service are advised to make prior appointments with their respective Isuzu Authorised Service Centres as each outlet is operating according to CMCO regulations in their respective states and are encouraging systematic social distancing by limiting the daily intakes based on the capacity of the individual service facility and maintaining the minimum 1m distances.
To arrange for a viewing or test drive of Isuzu vehicles, prospective customers may make an appointment via Isuzu Malaysia’s Facebook page.
Following the activation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) in Malaysia on 18 March 2020, all businesses except those related to essential services were required to stop operations.
Service centres were among the businesses that had to remain closed, although emergency assistance services were permitted. Following the extension of the MCO until 28 April 2020, MITI has given permission for car companies to resume aftersales services at selected outlets.
UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd (UMWT) has received approval from MITI to re-open selected authorised Toyota service centres and will operate selected outlets for emergency and urgent service requirements only, at minimum capacity.
Customers are advised that the services are by appointment only. Customers will have to contact the respective nearest service centre to confirm if the services centres are in operations and to secure suitable appointments before visiting the service centres.
Customers are also strongly advised to keep in mind that the MCO restrictions on their travel. Every effort will be made to ensure the safety and protection of customers when they visit the service centres who will continue to practice social distancing and remain at least 1 metre or more apart to avoid possible transmission of the virus.
With regards to those vehicles purchased from UMWT or their authorised dealers with existing warranties that are valid and expiring during the MCO period, there will be a 30-day extension calculated from the last day of the MCO.
As Malaysia continues its fight against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, national automaker PROTON is stepping up to the plate again to do its part to support the country’s frontliners.
Following the loan of 50 units of the Proton X70 to the Ministry of Health (MoH), the Company will now produce face shields, an important component of a health worker’s Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) attire.
Production is set to begin on 13 April at PROTON’s headquarters in Shah Alam with assembly to be undertaken by staff members who volunteered their services. The target is to produce 60,000 face shields and the total production time is estimated to be approximately 20 days.
“The face shields will be delivered in batches and we will work closely with the Ministry to distribute them according to the level of need in each district,” said Dato’ Radzaif Mohamed, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of PROTON.
Following the regulations set by the Movement Control Order (MCO), PROTON has obtained permission from the authorities for a small number of staff to work on the face shield production line at Shah Alam. Their movement and working hours will be monitored to ensure compliance to distancing rules.
“To keep within the MCO rules, PROTON has limited the number of staff involved in the production process. The safety of everyone is of the utmost importance and therefore social distancing and sanitising practices will be strictly enforced on the production line,” added Dato’ Radzaif Mohamed.