SUBANG JAYA: Proton is aiming to end 2021 on a strong footing following the resumption in production, sales, and export activities, which are expected to contribute towards increased sales volume beginning September.
The auto industry faced difficult market conditions with lockdown implemented to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
From June to August, Proton managed to achieve a total volume of 5,354 units, comprising a mix of online registrations and exports.
Limited production was undertaken at the company’s plant in Tanjung Malim after Perak was declared a Phase 2 state on July 5, but this was for a limited time due to a shortage of parts from vendors located in Selangor.
Up to the end of August, total volume was 62,637 units, an increase of 1.6% over the same period in 2020.
Proton Edar chief executive officer Roslan Abdullah said the company's total sales volume up to August reflected Proton’s strong performance over the first five months of the year.
“2021 has been challenging for the automotive industry as lockdowns, chip shortages and a number of other issues have stunted sales growth, but we are confident of an industry-wide surge in numbers over the final four months of the year,” said Roslan.
Proton is also able to resume export activities to export markets with production at both its plants now restored.
Pakistan will receive three shipments of the Proton X70 amounting to about 108 units in September along with CKD packs of the Proton Saga ahead of its roll-out, now estimated to take place at the end of October.
One of the keys to the company being able to reopen its factories and outlets has been the success of its PIKAS vaccination plan.
About 93% of Proton staff are fully vaccinated while over 75% of employees at vendors and dealers are also similarly classified, allowing the entire Proton ecosystem to operate close to 100% of capacity based on the current SOPs for reopening of plants and business premises.
Roslan said: “Aside from Malaysian market customers, Proton’s export markets have also benefitted from the resumption of production activities. It’s still too early to tell how quickly we can fulfil our outstanding orders, but we are closing the gap every day.
“Additionally, the success of our vaccination programme will be vital to our performance for the rest of year.
“By having a fully vaccinated workforce, we can reassure the market that Proton has taken every conceivable step to make it safe for fully vaccinated customers to visit our showrooms and service centres,” he said.