SUBANG JAYA: Proton has achieved a new milestone in Pakistan when the Proton Saga started rolling off production lines in the country on Oct 13.
Presented during a ceremony graced by the President of Pakistan, Dr Arif Alvi, the Saga is the first Proton model to be assembled by Al-Haj Automotive, the exclusive distributor of Proton models in Pakistan.
The Saga is being built at Al-Haj Automotive's new green field production plant in Karachi that was constructed at a cost of US$20mil (RM83mil).
With an initial annual capacity of 25,000 units, the potential sales volume of the Pakistan market makes it a critical part of Proton’s plan to grow exports in the future.
Al-Haj Automotive chief executive officer Hilal Khan Alfridi said the company was confident thatits new assembly plant would set new industry standards and enable more models to be produced that meet the international quality levels set by Proton.
Following the heels of the Saga, the X70 sports utility will be second Proton model to be assembled by Al-Haj Automotive with a tentative roll-off scheduled in December.
A total of 602 units of the X70 has been exported to Pakistan with the final 154 units sent on Oct 17.
Proton Edar chief executive officer Roslan Abdullah said the demand for the Saga and X70 remained high in Pakistan despite the Covid-19 pandemic affecting the company's project timelines.
He said Al-Haj had received 2,500 orders for the Saga and over 2,000 orders for the X70.
“Now that the final shipment of CBU units is on the way and local assembly has started for the Saga with the X70 to roll off the production line before the end of the year, we can finally work to catch up to market demand. This will allow Al-Haj Automotive and Proton to establish a strong market presence in the country to benefit future sales growth,” said Roslan.
He also said 20 Proton staff specialising in various manufacturing related fields are currently stationed in Karachi to assist in assembly operations.