KUALA LUMPUR: National car manufacturer Proton Holdings Bhd recorded sales of 8,102 cars in July, the highest in the last 30 months, spurred by the zero-rated Good and Services Tax (GST) from June to August, with the Saga being the top seller.
Proton said on Thursday the sales in July had increased by 31% from June. It increased its market share from 9.6% in June to 11.7% of total industry volume (TIV). It also resumed its export sales with 517 cars shipped.
“While Malaysian sales were driven by customers looking to take advantage of the zero rating for the GST and before the implementation of Sales and Service Tax (SST) in September, the resumption of export activities by the company was what delivered a boost to the overall numbers,” it said.
The Saga and Persona continue to lead sales. More than 3,000 Sagas were sold, the first time in 2018. The Persona also recorded 2,221 units sold, the first instance it breached the 2,000 unit barrier since May 2017.
The continued popularity of the Saga is attributed to its class leading affordability, spaciousness and handling as well as the “Best Saga deal in 10-years’”promotion where a brand new Saga could be bought for less than RM30,000 in June and July this year.
Proton said as for the Persona, its internationally recognised Asea NCAP 5 star rating, extensive safety feature list that includes electronic stability control (ESC), traction control (TC) and six airbags as well as its spacious interior, 510 litre boot and long equipment list were key factors to attracting buyers.
Proton Edar CEO Abdul Rashid Musa said July was a very good month for Proton as it had achieved its highest volume not just for 2018 but also for the last 30 months.
“We know that a big factor in boosting sales is the current tax holiday period with zero-rated GST prior to the implementation of SST in September but the numbers also prove that Malaysians are opening their eyes to the attractive buying proposition offered by the current range of Proton cars.
“We are therefore hopeful of carrying over this momentum even after SST has been introduced as we gear up for the launch of our first SUV later in the year,” he said.
Commenting on the exports, Proton was confident of achieving its export sales target for 2018 and be a springboard to sell more cars in the foreign markets.
The Middle East is the most popular export market for Proton cars and Jordan, Iraq and Iran are the main destination.
“Sales in Egypt are set to resume over the final quarter of the year as the country recovers from the currency crises that had hampered their car industry over the last few years,”: it said.
Proton Holdings is 50.1% owned by DRB-HICOM BHD and 49.9% by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd.