PROTON posted a second consecutive month of strong results in 2020 when sales in February grew by over 80% compared to the same month in 2019. A total of 9,974 units were registered, which is also a healthy 17.3% increase over January 2020.
As a result, PROTON’s market share for the month is estimated to stand at 23.8%, the highest it has been since August 2013 and an increase of 10.3% over February 2019.
Three models in PROTON’s current range were the sales stars in February, finishing first in their respective segments. The Proton Persona retook the lead in the B-segment Sedan class with 2,653 sales or nearly double of its closest competitor.
Meanwhile, with 1,973 units sold the Proton X70 was the most popular SUV in Malaysia for a second consecutive month as customers who ordered early started receiving the 2020 Proton X70. To date, over 7,000 orders have been received, proving that demand in Malaysia for the intelligent SUV remains strong.
PROTON’s third segment leader for February was the Exora MPV, which continues to have a stranglehold on the C-segment MPV market. PROTON’s other models, the Saga and the Iriz also had an excellent February.
The former continues to be the Company’s best-seller, with 3,934 units being sold and demand still outstripping supply. The latter meanwhile climbed to second spot in the B-segment hatchback category as sales continue to be strong following the launch of the updated model in 2019.
“February was a strong sales month for PROTON despite the Total Industry Volume (TIV) shrinking compared to January. By being able to maintain our sales growth our market share is now at its highest point in 77 months. Bookings for the 2020 Proton X70 have also been strong so we feel encouraged about our plans for the rest of the year,” said Dr Li Chunrong, Chief Executive Officer of PROTON.
By bringing his Proton Iriz to PROTON’s Centre of Service Excellence in Subang Jaya for scheduled maintenance, Azrul Firdaus Bin Ramli, a 30-year old quality assurance engineer from Bukit Jalil, ensured his car was serviced and maintained by a team of trained PROTON technicians. Today, he received something a little extra when he was named the winner of the PROTON Service & Win contest and was awarded a brand new Proton Saga Premium AT.
Designed to reward Proton car owners for regularly servicing their cars and to promote the company’s authorised service centres, the PROTON Service & Win Contest was co-branded with PETRONAS and held from 15 August to 15 November last year.
Over 125,000 customers sent their vehicles for servicing during the contest period and eligible participants were required to upload a picture of their car on Facebook together with a creative caption. PROTON’s management then selected the winner based on the creativity of their posting.
Over the past two years, PROTON has aggressively recruited new partners to increase the number of 3S/4S outlets in its network. Today, the Company has 121 such outlets, a number it is looking to grow with a target of hitting 150 by the end of the year.
“Selling a car is the beginning of a relationship between an automotive brand and its customers. During a five- year ownership cycle, there will be many occasions when a customer returns to service their car and this is an opportunity for PROTON to showcase a premium brand experience.
This is the strategy driving us towards investing in a comprehensive network of 3S/4S outlets and also helps to ensure our cars are maintained by trained technicians, which will help long-term residual values,” said Dr Li Chunrong, Chief Executive Officer of PROTON.
To ensure the level of customer and aftersales service are maintained at a high level, PROTON continues to invest in training programmes for its technicians, sales and aftersales staff. The Company also benchmarks itself against other premium brands to keep abreast of best practices in the industry and to elevate the level of service delivered at all outlets.
After much anticipation, Proton has finally launched the locally assembled X70 SUV, with a few subtle yet important changes.
2020 Proton X70 Standard 2WD – RM94,800
2020 Proton X70 Executive 2WD – RM106,800
2020 Proton X70 Premium 2WD – RM119,800
2020 Proton X70 Premium X 2WD – RM122,800
Despite all the hype, there are only a few things that you need to know about the new X70 which is now being assembled in Proton’s plant in Tanjung Malim.
New 7-Speed Dual Clutch Gearbox
The most important technological enhancement is the introduction of a seven-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (7-DCT) in place of the six-speed Automatic Transmission (6AT) previously used.
With the new gearbox, Proton claims that fuel consumption has improved by 13% to 7.6L/100km, gear changes have become smoother and quicker, and that torque has increased by 5% to 300Nm, resulting in a quicker 0 – 100km/h sprint time (9.5 seconds).
Further enhancing the practicality of the 2020 Proton X70 is the inclusion of a powered tailgate, which is available from the Executive variant. The feature is height adjustable allowing for hassle free access to the boot compartment and is supplemented by a foot sensor for the top-two specification levels. Regardless of variant, the split folding rear seat back now has a recline function to adjust the rake of the rear seats and boost passenger comfort.
Premium and Premium X variants now receive ventilated front seats that allow cool air to circulate to the driver and front seat passenger.
No More AWD Executive Variant
Similar to its predecessor, the 2020 Proton X70 is offered in four distinct variants though the line-up has been altered. The Standard variant still kicks off the range followed by the Executive. The AWD Executive has been dropped so the next variant is the Premium with the all-new Premium X topping the range.
In case you’re wondering how to distinguish between the outgoing X70 and the latest one, just look at the Proton logo on the front grille. The new X70 gets the circular emblem with the Harimau inside, replacing the old tiger in the “shield”.
That’s it. Besides these enhancements, things remain pretty much the same as before.
Powering all variants is the same 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine which makes 184 PS and 300 Nm of torque.
Safety & Driver Assistance
All variants are equipped with six SRS airbags, rear seat ISOFIX mounts with top tether anchorage, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Auto Brake Hold, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), Hill Hold Assist (HHA), Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Emergency Stop Signal (ESS).
As with the previous model, a 360 Camera is offered on Executive, Premium and Premium X variants but the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) suite is only fitted to the latter two.
Consisting of active and cognitive safety systems including Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), Door Opening Warning System (DOW) and Intelligent High Beam Control (IHBC), the ADAS suite provides an additional layer of safety helps reduce the risk of accidents.