Proton vehicle sales suffer steep drop over 5 years

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KUALA LUMPUR: The sale of Proton vehicles has been on a downward slide the past five years, with only 51,799 units sold this year up to August.

Minister of International Trade and Industry Mustapa Mohamed said the sale figures from 2013 were provided to him by Proton.

In 2013, sales of Proton models totalled 138,753 units but slid to 115,783 units in 2014, then fell lower to 102,546 units in 2015, and only 72,291 units in 2016.

“As a private company, the federal government does not interfere nor has it any control in its operations.

“Thus, the government has no information on the total number of customers who made bookings, registrations or cancellations of bookings of Proton vehicles,” he said in a written reply to Er Teck Hwa (Bakri-DAP) in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Proton was taken fully private in 2012 after it was bought by DRB-Hicom Berhad. Earlier this year, the conglomerate sold 49.9% of the struggling carmaker to China-based Geely Automobile Holdings in a strategic tie-up.

Mustapa said Proton constantly carried out various initiatives and improvements to boost sales and raise the level of customer satisfaction, such as by improving existing models Iriz and Exora this year.

“The company also launched a 5-point promotion package that incorporated the 5-star Asean NCAP (new car assessment program) security standard, 5-year warranty and 5-year free service.

“In addition, the company provided 7-day sales operation and after-sale service, and introduced an app ‘My Proton’ for smartphones,” he added.