Ahead of the annual press briefing by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) on new vehicle sales in 2017, Proton has announced that it sold a total of 70,991 vehicles during the past year. This was lower than the 72,291 units sold in 2016 and one of the reasons given for the decrease was poorer fleet sales in 2017 due to lower taxi orders.
Retail sales, however, increased 2.5% to 68,184 units in 2017 from 66,513 units in 2016. Growth was seen from the Central, South, East Coast regions and East Malaysia.
The Saga, Persona and Ertiga made up 80% of total Proton car sales for 2017, with the Saga recording more than 30,000 units. Persona sales increased by 27% to 19,510 units, compared to 15,390 units in 2016.
“Part of the reason that sales of our cars stabilised in 2017 was due to the aggressive quality improvement exercise done internally. Our counterpart from Geely Auto performed a stringent quality audit of our cars and within 3 months, we were able to improve our quality points threefold. The audit was measured using a stringent system, which is aligned to the international standard of Volvo cars, as practiced by Geely,” said Abdul Rashid Musa, Proton’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing.
“We are looking at 2018 more positively and we hope to intensify our efforts to do better this year. This year will be a critical year for Proton as we shall be implementing activities aligned to the new 3 – 10 year Business Plan, key to the turnaround of the company. In order for us to pick up our sales numbers, we shall be taking further steps for more attractive consumer campaigns, and improvement of product and service quality,” Encik Rashid added.
On another note concerning reports that have gone viral on social media, the company clarified that it does not recognise the usage of Bitcoin (digital currency) to purchase Proton cars. Proton does not offer such a facility for purchase of its new vehicles from authorised dealers. The picture about the Bitcoin usage suggests that such a transaction was independently initiated by a dealer of Proton and it has been learnt that operations of that dealer are suspended pending further investigation.