Tag: Proton

ACO Tech Unveil ATLAS Android-9 OS for Proton

ACO Tech ATLAS

ACO Tech, the Malaysian company that developed Proton’s Android-based GKUI infotainment system, has introduced its latest offering called ATLAS (ACO Tech Local Automotive Services).

This new platform, which is based on Android-9, is expected to be featured in new Proton models manufactured in 2022, replacing the current infotainment system based on Android-8.

According to Aco Tech, the ATLAS infotainment system will come integrated with JOOX music and entertainment platform with a variety of music content.

The infotainment system will come with the SYOK online radio platform which includes all Astro Radio brands and podcasts that cover a wide range of topics in multiple languages.

ACO Tech ATLAS

Built with an AI-powered speech solution that has the enhanced capabilities to recognize Malaysian English at varying tones and speed, ATLAS is able to handle various commands effectively, allowing the drivers to stay focus while being in control of the navigation, entertainment, communication, and in-vehicle functions.

Its intelligent notification can even alert the drivers on the occurrences of extreme weather or when a tire puncture is detected. The ATLAS voice assistant can be customsied based on the owner’s preference.

ACO Tech has also ramped up its efforts to develop ATLAS Map – a native navigation system that supports real-time traffic information and safety-related features.

In addition, ATLAS will also feature ATLAS Pay – an integrated automotive payment system powered by fintech partner Fass Payment Solutions (Fasspay).

ATLAS Pay, the 1st in-car payment in Malaysia; integrates in-car technologies with ATLAS so that drivers’ can pay for everyday needs without having to disembark from their cars, enhancing their overall driving experience.

In the near future, ATLAS Pay will be the payment core that introduces its “mobility-as-a-service” vehicle app ecosystem. ATLAS Pay is available in the ATLAS Auto app and subsequently integrated with the vehicle’s infotainment system by the first half of 2022.

Designed as a multifaceted system, the ATLAS is complimented with a mobile app – ATLAS Auto, that connects the driver to his car and the world whenever, wherever.

Besides serving as a universal interface to the vehicle, the ATLAS Auto offers value-added features such as ATLAS Mall, ATLAS Discover, and ATLAS Vehicle which enable endless collaborative possibilities from brand partners and communities.

The ATLAS Auto is available to download from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and Huawei AppGallery in Q4 2021.

“The ATLAS is intelligent, proactive, and humanised. The eco-system is not only integral in transforming people’s relationship with their car, in-vehicle or remotely, we believe that it underpins the future of automotive user experience and paves the way for autonomous vehicle in Malaysia,” said Mr. Li Pu, CEO of ACO Tech Sdn Bhd. ACO Tech has invested over RM30 million for the research, development, and deployment of ATLAS.

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Proton Expects Strong Sales in Last Quarter of 2021

Proton Sales

Despite facing nearly three months of difficult market conditions due to Covid-19 prevention measures, Proton announced that it is aiming to finish 2021 strongly.

This follows the resumption in production, sales, and export activities, which are expected to contribute towards increased sales volume beginning in September.

June to August sales figures

From June to August 2021, Proton managed to achieve a total volume of 5,354 units, comprising a mix of online registrations and exports.

Limited production was undertaken at the company’s plant in Tanjung Malim after Perak was declared a Phase 2 state on 5 July, but this was for a limited time due to a shortage of parts from vendors located in Selangor.

Up to the end of August, total volume was 62,637 units, an increase of 1.6% over the same period in 2020.

“Our total sales volume up to August reflects Proton’s strong performance over the first five months of the year. 2021 has been challenging for the automotive industry as lockdowns, chip shortages and a number of other issues have stunted sales growth, but we are confident of an industry-wide surge in numbers over the final four months of the year,” said Roslan Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer, Proton Edar.

Production restored

With production at both its plants now restored, Proton is also able to resume export activities to export markets. For example, Pakistan will receive three shipments of the Proton X70 amounting to about 108 units in September along with CKD packs of the Proton Saga ahead of its roll-out, now estimated to take place at the end of October.

Proton sales August 2021

One of the keys to the company being able to reopen its factories and outlets has been the success of its PIKAS vaccination plan. The latest figures show that over 93% of Proton staffs are fully vaccinated while over 75% of employees at vendors and dealers are also similarly classified.

Therefore, the entire Proton ecosystem is close to being allowed to operate at 100% of capacity based on the current SOPs for reopening of plants and business premises.

Positive Proton export sales

“Aside from Malaysian market customers, Proton’s export markets have also benefitted from the resumption of production activities. It’s still too early to tell how quickly we can fulfil our outstanding orders, but we are closing the gap every day.”

“Additionally, the success of our vaccination programme will be vital to our performance for the rest of year. By having a fully vaccinated workforce, we can reassure the market that Proton has taken every conceivable step to make it safe for fully vaccinated customers to visit our showrooms and service centres.” added Roslan Abdullah.

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Geely Wants to Sell 3.65 Million Vehicles a Year

Geely 2025

The Geely Auto Group announced recently that they aim to sell 3.65 million vehicles per year by 2025 globally.

The accumulative sales will of course, comprise all the brands under the group such as Geely Auto, Lynk & Co, Zeekr, and Geometry.

Global presence

Globally, Geely Auto Group is continuing to expand its presence through the introduction of its Geely Auto, Lynk & Co, and Geometry brand products in new markets.

The Geely Auto brand is steadily building its brand presence in Southeast Asia, the Middle-East, South America, and Russian markets with the introduction of its latest mild-hybrid and 3.0 generation models.

Geely Vision Starburst

In Europe, Lynk & Co is on schedule to expand its innovative subscription operation model and deliveries of its highly efficient hybrid power models.

Asia Pacific expansion

Lynk & Co will also announce its Asia-Pacific expansion plan in the second half of 2021. Geometry has also begun its global expansion with plans to offer its high-value mass-market models to Israeli and Eastern European consumers.

The Group also announced that it anticipates its electric vehicles sales will account for 30% or over 1 million vehicles per year.

The premium electric vehicle Zeekr brand itself is aiming to achieve 650,000 units in annual sales by 2025.

Upgraded hybrid system

In the second half of 2021, the Group plans to introduce Geely’s GHS2.0 intelligent hybrid powertrain system, with an industry-leading thermal efficiency of 43.32% and fuel savings of up to 40%.

The GHS2.0 hybrid powertrains will be installed on flagship Geely Auto brand models and within three years will be offered on 10 new models from the Group.

In addition to the GHS2.0 hybrid system, the Group also plan to increase battery size on its PHEV models and extend pure electric range of its plug-in hybrids to 100-200km.

Improved hybrid models

The improved range will allow more users to meet 90% of their daily mobility needs through zero-emission pure electric propulsion.

In March 2021, the Group announced two Blue Geely Initiatives which showcases two distinct development paths in offering users from different segments and markets more sustainable and environmentally friendlier mobility options.

The first Blue Geely initiative focuses on developing intelligent ultra- efficient hybrid powertrain solutions which can be seen in the Group’s promotion of the next-generation GHS2.0 hybrid system.

The second Blue Geely Initiative focuses on developing smart pure electric vehicle technologies which has resulted in the launch of the Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) and premium electric Zeekr brand.

Zeekr brand

Backed by a global automotive group and mature electric vehicle technologies, the Zeekr brand and its first model Zeekr 001 launched on the market with great anticipation in the first half of 2021.

Geely 2025

On the first day order books were open for the Zeekr 001, over 5000 confirmed orders were received and in just one month all deliverable units for 2021 were sold out.

Based on the current demand for the brand’s products and planned future model launches, Zeekr aims to achieve 650,000 units in annual sales by 2025 and become one of the top premium electric vehicle brands in the world.

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Close to 90% of Proton’s Workforce is Fully Vaccinated

Proton Vaccine

Following the implementation of the second round of its PIKAS vaccination programme last week, over 86% of Proton’s 8,486 staff members are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

That number is expected to increase over the coming weeks as 98% have already received their first dose, in line with the company’s aim to achieve herd immunity in its chain of operations.

Similar to the first round of vaccinations, the sports complex at the company’s Tanjung Malim plant was repurposed as an industry vaccine dispensing centre (PPVIN), catering for staff and vendors in the area, while those based in Shah Alam went to the Shah Alam Convention Centre (SACC).

PIKAS Vaccination Programme

“Proton is pleased to announce our PIKAS vaccination programme has been a resounding success. There are more than 60,000 people in our business ecosystem, including staff from vendors and dealers, so we are thankful to MITI, MOSTI and the Ministry of Health (MOH) for their guidance to coordinate such a mammoth task and ensuring everyone registered on MySejahtera has been given the vaccine.”

Proton Vaccine

“We estimate more than 80% of our operations chain would have received at least one dose of the vaccine by the end of August and this helps to ensure Proton is able to hit the ground running once the automotive industry is given the green light to resume operations nationwide,” said Dr Li Chunrong, Chief Executive Officer, Proton.

To prepare for this, Proton has relooked at its business procedures to reduce the likelihood of infections being spread.

Downstream and upstream

Retail operations have been further tightened to protect customers and staff alike while production processes at all Proton plants have been scrutinised for any possible risk of infection to both downstream and upstream operations.

“Proton is committed to helping Malaysia lower the number of Covid-19 infections to quickly achieve the milestones in the national recovery plan. We have created new processes in all areas, from our production lines to our corporate offices, ensuring a new and safer work environment. It also means strict new rules will be enforced throughout the company and measures such as virtual meetings and splitting work between home and the office will be the norm for the near future,” added Dr Li Chunrong.

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New Proton Iriz and Persona Launched

New Proton Iriz Persona

Proton today launched the new 2022 Proton Iriz and Persona, offering updated design elements plus enhanced features. Prices are as mentioned below:

2022 Proton Iriz Persona

What is new?

On the exterior, both the new Iriz and new Persona get redesigned bumpers as well as the Ethereal Bow grille with Proton’s Infinite Weave design element.

2022 Proton Persona

While the Proton Iriz now features a new profile, the 2022 Proton Persona comes with additional chrome to better frame the new Proton logo.

2022 Proton Persona

New exterior colours for the 2022 Proton Iriz include Citric Orange and Passion Red, while the Persona now adds Space Grey to the list.

2022 Proton Iriz

Both models also feature LED headlamps that support auto on/off and follow me home functions. The design is complemented by new 16-inch alloy wheels, a black roof finish and new finishing on the rear combination lamps.

Proton Iriz Active

2022 Proton Iriz

The introduction of the Active variant takes the Proton Iriz down a more stylish and sportier pathway.

2022 Proton Iriz Active

The exterior of the car sports a different front bumper design with new distinctive all-round body mouldings that run from the front bumper, across the wheel arches, and side sills before ending at the rear bumper.

2022 Proton Iriz Active

A black roof with roof rails completes the look.

2022 Proton Iriz Active

The interior ambience is lifted further by red highlights – Active embroidery on the front seats, door trims and carpet mats, as well as red stitching on the steering wheel and red seat belts.

2022 Proton Iriz Active

It also comes with aluminium sport pedals that add a subtle sporting touch.

New 8-inch floating display (both models)

The most noticeable change to the interior of the 2022 Proton Iriz and Persona is the introduction of a new 8-inch floating infotainment head unit with voice command functions that have been updated to control the air-conditioning and driver’s window.

2022 Proton Iriz Active

Housed at the top of the instrument panel for easy access, the new head unit is matched with repositioned air vents while new controls for the air-conditioning now come with a digital display and a N95 Cabin Filter fitted as standard.

New centre console

Functionality is also enhanced by the new centre console that provides an armrest as well as improved storage space.

The top of the line 2022 Proton Persona Premium meanwhile gets its seats and door trims covered in brown leatherette (in the same shade that debuted on the Proton X70) to compliment the new interior design and helping to raise the level of luxury.

2022 Proton Persona

With a total of six USB ports – three at the front, two at the rear and one behind the rear-view mirror, to power a dash cam, both the 2022 Proton Iriz and Persona have ample power outlets to suit the demands of a digital lifestyle.

Standard features

The Persona also offers 510-litres of boot space that can be expanded by folding the rear seats.

2022 Proton Persona

Additionally, both also offer a reverse camera and parking sensors to provide visual and audible parking assistance while an ECO mode switch encourages more efficient driving resulting in better fuel consumption.

2022 Proton Persona

With regards to safety, both models have received the 5-star ASEAN NCAP rating and come with a comprehensive list of safety features such as reinforced body structure using Hot Press Formed (HPF) steel, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS) and Hill Hold Assist (HHA).

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1989 Proton Saga Wins “Concourse” Full of Mundane Old Cars

Proton Saga Black Knight

Up until yesterday, nobody in Malaysia (OK, maybe a few) knew about this event in the UK called the Hagerty Festival of the Unexceptional a.k.a the Concours de l’Ordinaire.

Organised annually by American insurance company Hagerty since 2014, the Festival of the Unexceptional is a celebration of long-forgotten everyday family cars from 1968-1989, now fondly known as the ‘Unexceptional Era’.

The Unexceptional era

Proton Saga Black Knight

Simply put, these were your boring everyday cars from the 60s to the 80s which nobody gave a crap about; cars that a lot of people still don’t give a crap about.

So, in case you’re wondering why we’re talking about this now, articles revolving around the event broke the internet in Malaysia yesterday as a 1989 Proton Saga 1.5L Black Knight actually won this year’s Concours de l’Ordinaire, much to the delight of the local car community.

Proton Saga Black Knight
  • Best in Show: Jon Coupland – 1989 Proton 1.5 GL Black Knight
  • Runner Up: Danny Wilson – 1991 Peugeot 106 XN
  • Feast of the Unexceptional/ Best Picnic: Matthew Long – 1986 Volvo 340 DL
  • Best dressed: Mark Pallatt – 1979 Ford Escort

How did the Proton win?

The Proton Saga Black Knight, which is owned by Jon Coupland from Lincolnshire, was selected from thousands of mundane motors that were displayed with pride by a record number of car enthusiasts who turned up this year.

Proton Saga Black Knight

Including the Saga Black Knight, there were 50 carefully selected finalists. Out of the lot, the winning Proton was said to be the rarest, as it is one of just 201 examples, and the only remaining unit.

PRoton Saga Black Knight

The runner-up was a Peugeot 106 which the owner bought for just £500 via Facebook Marketplace. Owner Danny Wilson (27) from Driffield in East Yorkshire, brought the peppermint-coloured Peugeot back to life himself, and the judges noted that it was fitted with a carburettor and choke found only on the very earliest examples, marking it out as a true survivor of the scrap heap.

Special mentions

Special mentions went to James Green for his 1989 Nissan Bluebird, Charles Whilems and his 1986 Volkswagen Polo C Formel E, Chris Howells and his 1971 Triumph Toledo, and Simon Hucknall for his 1977 Fiat 128.

Proton Saga Black Knight

All of these cars impressed the individual judges and warranted their place in the 2021 Unexceptional Hall of Fame.

Highlights

Other highlights included a brace of Bond Bugs, a fantastically preserved Mk1 Ford Granada Coupe, countless Skoda Estelles and Favorits from the pre-VW era, a brilliantly basic Land Rover Discovery 3-door and Sri Lankan Toyota Terecel 4WD to name but a few. 

Proton Saga Black Knight

The 2021 selection offered one of the best concours lawns in seven years of the festival, with cars arriving from across the nation to be judged as one of the best of the best.

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Proton X70 SE Launched – RM128k

Proton X70 SE

Proton today added a new variant to the Proton X70 line-up, further strengthening the appeal for the best-selling C-segment SUV in Malaysia.

The Proton X70 Special Edition goes on sale today at an on-the-road (OTR) price without insurance of RM123,800. Until 31 December 2021, subject to availability, it will be sold with the PEMERKASA+ Sales Tax incentive worth RM7,000. It can now be booked online from as low as RM99.

Limited to 2,000 units

Proton X70 SE

Limited to 2,000 units, the Proton X70 Special Edition, positioned at the top of Proton’s range, has been given new luxury features and a special colour.

Mechanically, the Proton X70 Special Edition is identical in specifications to the Premium 2WD variant and retains the 1.8L TGDi engine with 7-speed dual clutch transmission.

Proton X70 SE Interior

The difference comes in the form of an exterior styling package and interior trim to boost its appeal.

Ocean Blue and Ruby Red colour

Available in exclusive Ocean Blue, a new addition to the colour palette, and Ruby Red, it has its roof, rear spoiler and door mirrors presented in black as well as a new design of 19-inch sport rims.

Proton X70 SE rims

An exclusive SE emblem is mounted on the tailgate as a finishing touch.

To match the black that adds depth to the exterior, the interior is also predominantly black with luxurious detailing that elevates the ambiance of the cabin.

This includes soft and supple black Nappa leather seats, an exclusive interior trim finishing and new SE specific carpet mats.

Proton Intelligent Air Purification System

Like the rest of the Proton X70 range, the Proton X70 Special Edition is equipped with the Proton Intelligent Air Purification System (P-IAPS) that combines the benefits of an N95 cabin filter and air purifier system, offering protection against airborne pollutants and contaminants to improve cabin air quality.

Proton X70 SE seats

The Proton X70 Special Edition comes with a comprehensive list of safety features including six SRS airbags and Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) that adds an additional layer of active safety to reduce the risk of accidents, along with Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and 360 Camera.

Proton X70 SE rear

“By adding the Proton X70 Special Edition to our model range, Proton has expanded the upper tier of our target market. While it is a limited production model, we feel strongly that it will appeal to buyers accustomed to vehicles with luxury features who are looking for a new SUV at a great price,” said Roslan Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer, Proton Edar.

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Proton Starts Vaccination for Staffs

Proton vaccine

Proton announced that it has started a vaccination programme for all of its employees.

Staff from the company’s base of operations in Tanjung Malim and Shah Alam who are not yet vaccinated were notified of their appointments via the MySejahtera app, which will be spread out over several days to ensure everyone who opted-in for the vaccine receives their first dose.

Repurposed sports complex

To expedite efforts in Tanjung Malim, the company worked with Federal and State authorities to repurpose its sports complex into an industry vaccine dispensing centre (PPVIN).

With a maximum daily volume of approximately 800 people, the PPVIN will be in operation for six days to ensure staff from Proton and its vendors based there are vaccinated.

Shah Alam Convention Centre

For staff in Shah Alam, they will receive their vaccines at the Shah Alam Convention Centre (SACC) as there was no space large enough at Proton’s own premises for a temporary PPV that complies to SOP requirements.

proton vaccine

“Proton hopes that by vaccinating our staff, we will contribute to reducing the number of Covid-19 infections in Malaysia. With other companies undertaking similar initiatives, this should help in efforts to restart the automotive industry that has been put on hold by lockdown measures,” said Dr Li Chunrong, Chief Executive Officer, Proton.

Second dose in three weeks

Following the kick-off today, the vaccination dispensing exercise will be repeated three weeks later for Proton staff to receive their second dose of the vaccine. The company therefore expects most of its employees to be fully vaccinated by the first half of August.

On a separate note, Proton recently announced that it remains optimistic about sales despite the ongoing pandemic, thanks to the recent performance of its international sales division.

Meanwhile…

In May 2021, 669 units were delivered to overseas distributors, resulting in the company having its best export sales month since March 2013, a gap of 98 months.

Up to the end of May, the total Year-To-Date (YTD) volume is at 174% of the target set and only 6% behind what was achieved for the whole of 2020.

Proton’s growth in export sales has been powered by growing demand in several key markets, some new and some having sold Protons for decades. For example, Pakistan is a new market for the company but for the first five months of 2021, it was by far the best performer.

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Jenson Button Tests the New Lotus Emira

Lotus Emira

“It’s exceptional and I’m a big fan” – These were exact words of former F1 world champion Jenson Button after driving the all-new Lotus Emira for more than 30 laps of the Hethel test track during the launch celebrations of the brand new sports car.

Finding the right position when behind the wheel for the first time is key for every driver, not just the professionals, and Jenson said once he’d done that the Emira “just felt right”.

Competitive pricing

“I’m still in shock at the price. Starting at under £60,000 it’s fantastic and means so many people are going to have the opportunity to experience it first-hand.”

Lotus Emira

“It’s being called a junior supercar but it would give a lot of supercars a run for their money, and it’s more comfortable than most of them,” he said.

Lightweight

Building on the legacy of the Elise, Exige and Evora, the Emira has been developed on a new lightweight bonded aluminium chassis technology pioneered by Lotus and which remains an intrinsic part of the company’s sports car DNA.

Lotus Emira

The Emira is the first all-new Lotus sports car to be delivered under Vision80, the strategic plan which is guiding the transformation of Lotus as it moves towards its 80th anniversary in 2028. It is a truly global model, engineered to sell in all major markets around the world.

Powered by AMG

Two petrol engines are available, a Lotus-engineered 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit from technical partner AMG, and the much-loved and characterful 3.5-litre V6 from the Exige and Evora. Each is calibrated by Lotus to provide a unique and distinctive character for maximum driver engagement.

Lotus Emira

Across the Emira range, power output will between 360 and 400bhp at launch, with 0-100km/h acceleration time standing at 4.5 seconds with top speeds of up to 290km/h.

Maximum torque will be 430Nm and CO2 emissions will start below 180g/km. The car has a target weight of 1,405kg.

First Lotus with new design

The Emira is also the first Lotus sports car to carry the new design language first showcased on the award-winning Evija hypercar.

Lotus Emira

Features available on the Emira include keyless go, cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, electric folding door mirrors, rear parking sensors (with front sensors as an option), auto-dimming rear view mirror, curtain airbags, launch control (as part of optional Lotus Drivers Pack), and a stolen vehicle tracker.

ADAS

Lotus Emira

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) available on the Emira include adaptive cruise control, anti-collision system, fatigue alert, road sign information, vehicle speed limiter, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane change assist.

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Proton Selling Very Well in Pakistan

Proton February Sales

With Malaysia undergoing a strict lock down to lower Covid-19 infections, retail operations of automotive companies have been curtailed with showrooms required to remain shut.

Although this is expected to affect Total-Industry-Volume (TIV) for the next few months, Proton announced that it remains optimistic about sales, thanks to the recent performance of its international sales division.

Best export sales since March 2013

In May 2021, 669 units were delivered to overseas distributors, resulting in the company having its best export sales month since March 2013, a gap of 98 months.

Up to the end of May, the total Year-To-Date (YTD) volume is at 174% of the target set and only 6% behind what was achieved for the whole of 2020.

Proton’s growth in export sales has been powered by growing demand in several key markets, some new and some having sold Protons for decades. For example, Pakistan is a new market for the company but for the first five months of 2021, it was by far the best performer.

Brunei

On the other hand, Brunei which started selling Proton vehicles in 1987, was the third biggest export market by volume this year and in May, importers PAD Motors had the best sales month in company history.

Proton X50 sales

Not to be outdone Alpha Ezz El-Arab, the importer and distributor for Proton cars in Egypt, has already received 350 units this year, making it Proton’s second largest export market.

Kenya

With sales also growing domestically, assembly of Proton models in its export markets is vital for the company to achieve its long-term goals. Following the commencement of local assembly for the Proton Saga in Kenya, the next market to assemble cars locally will be Pakistan.

“If everything goes to plan our partner in Pakistan, Al-Haj Automotive will begin assembly operations with the Proton Saga by the end of July or early August at its new plant in Karachi. The Proton X70 will be added to their production line later, and we have high hopes this development will spur sales growth in the South Asian region,” added Steven Xu.

ASEAN

While growing sales in export markets is a reassuring sign of wider acceptance of the Proton brand and its products, the key to achieving the company’s long-term goals remains sales growth in ASEAN.

The region is hotly contested with many global brands having invested in production facilities that supply local and export markets as well as competition from locally grown manufacturers.

Return to Thailand, Indonesia

Currently, Proton’s presence in ASEAN is limited to Brunei but the company has plans to return to the two biggest markets in the region, Thailand and Indonesia, in the very near future. “For Proton to be the third best-selling brand in ASEAN, we need to have a major presence in Thailand and Indonesia.”

As the biggest automotive markets in the region they offer enormous volume potential, but the level of competition is also very high. For both countries, we have been busy recruiting partners to build a network that ensures a viable business model and in the short term, our target is to return to Thailand in 2022,” said Steven Xu.

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