Subang Jaya, 1 November 2018 – Following a month of market correction in September due to the introduction of Sales and Service Tax (SST), sales for PROTON cars grew by 12.6% in October. 5,093 units were sold, an increase of 569 units over the previous month and a slight improvement over the corresponding period in 2017. Market share as a percentage of the Total Industry Volume (TIV) is estimated at 10.7% which is in line with the average figure for the year.
Sales growth fuelled by promotions and quality improvements
While PROTON’s overall market share contracted in October, the sales volume it achieved is the highest for 2018 outside of the bumper sales period from June – September, which was fuelled by a zero GST tax environment. With the much-hyped Proton X70 launch only occurring later in the year, the growth points towards customers showing renewed interest in the current range of Proton cars.
The increased interest has been encouraged by the attractive pricing policies PROTON currently has. Buyers enjoy zero SST pricing as the Company absorbs the tax amount for all models. This means there has been no change in price despite the GST tax holiday period ending and SST being enforced in September this year.
“PROTON is the only car manufacturer in Malaysia to adopt a zero SST pricing policy for all its current models. We aim to deliver better value for money to our customers by making ownership of a Proton car more affordable. Therefore, over the final two months of 2018 we are offering rebates of up to RM3,000 and will increase our participation in road shows and carnivals to ensure we reach as many Malaysian car buyers as possible,” said Abdul Rashid Musa, Chief Executive Officer of PROTON Edar.
The increased number of new 3S and 4S outlets has also contributed to the improvement of PROTON’s brand image. As at the end of October, 113 outlet submission approvals were granted, equivalent to a 104% achievement over the target of 109. To man these new outlets, training programmes have been held to ensure all sales and service staff are able to deliver a high level of customer service. The effectiveness of this move was proven in the J.D. Power 2018 Malaysian Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) for mass market automotive brands, with PROTON improving its ranking by three spots.
“Our new 3S/4S dealerships have improved PROTON’s brand visibility and rebuilt consumer confidence. More Malaysians have started to believe we can deliver a high quality product backed by high levels of customer service. However, PROTON is aware new outlets alone cannot win back car buyers, so we have invested in improving our skill and service levels at the same time. This is reflected in the recent score of 782 points in J.D. Power’s SSI ranking and although there is still a lot of room for improvement, it shows we are moving in the right direction,” added Abdul Rashid.
Proton X70 hits 10,000 bookings in 49 days
With 10,000 bookings already received since 8 September, the Proton X70 has captured the interest of car buyers with its combination of attractive design, advanced features and exciting driving performance. The launch of an online booking platform on 17 October also helped as it allowed for bookings to be made from anywhere with an Internet connection.
With market expectations at a high level, PROTON is taking many steps to ensure their new SUV is able to meet the needs of its customers. For example, product training for all staff has intensified with a test administered randomly to ensure there is sufficient product knowledge. On the technical side, investments in new equipment for authorised service centres are also being made together with a build-up of spares as a measure against any shortages.
“PROTON is grateful for the booking support Malaysians have shown despite the Proton X70 being absent from our showroom floor. This is the most advanced model in our range, packed with features that are making their debut on a Proton car, so its success is critical to our brand revival efforts. Therefore, huge investments are being made to ensure our goals are met.
“From the opening of 3S/4S outlets, training of staff, building of new production lines at the Tanjung Malim plant and even matchmaking local and international vendors, nothing is being left to chance. Unfortunately, such detailed preparations take a lot of time, so we ask our customers to be patient for just a while longer. The wait is nearly over,” Abdul Rashid said.