Proton X70 production in Pakistan scheduled for year-end

KUALA LUMPUR: Proton is looking forward to the Proton X70 being assembled in Pakistan by the year-end, hot on the heels of the successful production rollout of the Proton Saga in Karachi.

In a Wednesday statement, the car manufacturer said Al-Haj Automotive, the exclusive distributor of Proton in Pakistan, is tentatively scheduled to begin local assembly of the C-segment SUV in December.

Prior to local assembly starting, a final batch of 154 units of the Proton X70 was shipped to Pakistan on Oct 17. This brought the total number of CBU units exported to the country to 602.

The Proton X70 will be the second Proton model to be assembled in Pakistan as production of the Proton Saga commenced at Al-Haj Automotive's production plant in Karachi on Oct 13.

The car maker said the plant was built at a cost of US$20mil and has an initial annual capacity of 25,000 units.

According to Proton Edar CEO Roslan Abdullah, demand for Proton models in Pakistan remains high with 2,500 and 2,000 orders received for the Saga and X70 respectively.

"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,” he said.

He added that the potential sales volume of the Pakistan market is critical to growing exports in the future, one of the pillars to achieving its long-term goals.

As such, Proton's commitment to the Pakistan market extends beyond the shipment of CKD packs and consumable parts, but includes human resources.

Roslan said 20 Proton staff specialising in various manufacturing-related fields are currently stationed in Karachi to assist in assembly operations.

Meanwhile, Al-Haj Automotive CEO Hilal Khan Alfridi acknowledged the efforts of Proton, the Al-Haj team, its suppliers and vendors in the successful assembly of the Proton Saga in Pakistan.

"Even with Covid-19 restrictions in place, we continued to push to build our new assembly plant and as such, we are confident it will set new industry standards and enable us to introduce more products that meet the international quality levels set by Proton," he said.
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