Proton will re-enter South Africa as it signs an agreement to hire CMH Group to be the distributor of Proton cars in that market. The first shipment of fully imported models, starting with the X50 and X70 SUVs, will enter the South African market in September, the carmaker said in a statement.
The national carmaker is optimistic about its potential in the South African market, and aims to more than double its sales there by 2023, it said. Proton’s total export sales for the first quarter of this year increased by 175% over the same period last year, and this number is expected to increase further as it aims to increase its export sales by more than 300% by the end of this year. Years, Proton said.
As of the first quarter of this year, 794 units of various models were shipped in March, and Pakistan is Proton’s largest export market, up from 690 units last month. Prior to joining South Africa, Proton currently exports to 13 countries and has local assembly activities in Pakistan, Kenya and Bangladesh, with Sri Lanka joining in the second half of this year.
Proton is also playing an increasingly prominent role as part of the overall vehicle exports from Malaysia, the carmaker said. It was 12.9% of total exports from Malaysia in 2019, rising to 30.2 in 2020 before reaching 60.9% last year, making Proton the top car exporter in the country, as well as showing its export performance due to tough market conditions. The epidemic, it said.
“For Proton’s long-term goals, exports must play a key role in boosting the company’s overall sales, as the total industry in Malaysia is expected to remain flat.” So, we are harnessing the power of our new products, our brand and even the relationships that Malaysia has with other countries to set foot in many new markets. It is then strengthened by setting up knock-down (local assembly) operations where possible, which also contributes to the growth of the local economy, “said Steven Xu, Proton director of international sales.