Proton Starts to Export Again
Automologist MAC brings us news that Proton is on the up and up.
If you do not live in Malaysia, you may well not have noticed the quiet revolution that is going on over at Proton. Since the buy-in by Chinese-owned Geely, the National Car Manufacturer has been restructuring the company, and rationalising and updating their range of cars.
Of course, the X70, the company’s first SUV, was very well received, although some unkind critics were less than forthcoming with praise, citing it to be ‘just’ a rebadged Geely. Well, yah boo sucks to all you haters out there. The X70 has just been named the overall Malaysia Car of the Year.
Driving around Kuala Lumpur (as I do), you cannot help but notice the X70 on the road, but you will also notice loads and loads of new Sagas and Personas. The relaunch and success of these three models have catapulted the previously ailing brand to second place in terms of sales in Malaysia for last year. In fact, their sales volume jumped by a massive 55% for the year. Pretty impressive, really.
The new updated models have now started to be exported, albeit to tiny Brunei to start with. Pad Motors Sdn Bhd is the first overseas company to take the models and held a soft launch in the country’s capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, last week. The event, which was attended by customers and social influencers, will be followed by a programme of roadshows.
Some out there may snort that it is only little Brunei, but hey, give the guys a chance—even big trees grow from little seeds. Proton does have a plan and have every intention of following Brunei with more export announcements in the very near future. The goal is for them to become the number one brand in Malaysia again, but also the number three carmaker in ASEAN by 2027. Much of this will be spearheaded by the current X70 and the upcoming X50. However, the updated Iriz, Persona, Exora and Saga will all be exported as well, giving the company quite a complete range.