KUALA LUMPUR: Proton Holdings Bhd sold 14,573 (domestic and export) units of vehicles in March, an increase of 3.8% over February and 11.9% more than the same month from 2022.
“This brings total sales for the first quarter of 2023 to 40,287 units, equivalent to growth of 50.9% over the previous year,” the carmaker said in a statement.
The company’s market share for the month is estimated to be 18.7%, allowing it to maintain second place in the sales table rankings, while for the quarter, market share is estimated to be 21.2%.
According to Proton, car sales in March reached a new record high as total industry volume (TIV) is estimated to stand at 78,000 units, breaking the previous high of 76,657 units set in December 2022.
Proton sold 2,421 units of Proton Persona in March. It is the B-segment sedan leader for the third month in a row. Total sales for the quarter are 6,773 units and are equivalent to an increase of 79.2%.
Meanwhile, its Proton X50 remains as the best-selling SUV in Malaysia with 3,414 units sold in March. First quarter sales stood at 9,668 units, growing by 34.7% over the same period in 2022.
The company’s final segment leader is the Proton Exora, retaining its standing as the best-selling C-segment MPV with 426 in March.
Proton’s best-seller continues to be the Proton Saga, which racked up a second consecutive month of breaking the 6,000-unit barrier with 6,313 units sold.
It managed to rack up 17,446 units in the first quarter, an increase of 84.6%, but the growth rate is masked by floods affecting Saga production at the beginning of 2022.
The Proton Iriz and Proton X70 achieved sales of 712 and 1,272 units, respectively. The former remains in fourth place for B-segment hatchbacks while the latter is a strong second for C-segment SUV sales.
"The first quarter of 2023 has been exceptionally good for PROTON and our achievement of over 40,000 units sold is something we are justifiably proud of.
“However, we must consider that sales for the first three months were inflated because brands were rushing to deliver cars for bookings made during the PENJANA incentive period. This is especially true for this month as the deadline to deliver those bookings was March 31, helping to explain the record estimated TIV number of 78,000 units,” deputy chief executive officer Roslan Abdullah said.
He said a better reflection of market sentiment would emerge by the end of second quarter, but it remains confident of maintaining its sales momentum.
“We will be launching the Proton X90 soon and will also have more additions to the range later in the year. At the same time, we recently announced our commitment to expanding our future New Energy Vehicle (NEV) offerings and this will take the brand into new market segments as we seek out long-term growth to fulfill our ten-year plan. Yes, the runway to Malaysia being a hub for Next Generation Vehicles (NxGV) is still long but Proton is excited to lead the automotive industry to new horizons in the future,” Roslan said.