22 Sep 2023

  • Company’s first NEV launched in Mauritius, South Africa, and Brunei
  • Brunei market achieves best-ever recorded sales in August


Subang Jaya, 22 September 2023 – Export sales growth in international markets is one of the key pillars for national car maker PROTON’s long-term goals. With volume having grown exponentially in 2022 (5,406 units), marking a 79% increase compared to the previous year, hopes were high to maintain a similar growth trajectory this year. However, 2023 has been challenging as external factors affecting global economies have dampened the company’s sales potential in several major export markets.

Despite the challenges, PROTON has remained steadfast in its determination to expand its reach beyond Malaysia’s borders. Different countries are constantly being evaluated and explored for their potential while the roll out of products to existing markets gathers pace. August was an example of this as PROTON’s flagship and newest offering, the Proton X90, was launched in three export markets.

Mauritius was the first export market to receive the X90 as the premium, modern, family SUV was unveiled on 4 August at the Le Salon de L' Automobile, SVICC, Pailles. Next on the calendar was South Africa as Proton South Africa showcased the Proton X90 at the Festival of Motoring at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit from 25-27 August. The event had strong support from Malaysia’s Foreign Affairs ministry as it was attended by the Honourable Mr. Yap Wei Sein, Acting High Commissioner for Malaysia in South Africa.

On the same day, Proton Brunei unveiled the Proton X90 at a grand launch event attended by the High Commissioner of Malaysia to Brunei Darussalam, Dato’ Raja Reza bin Raja Zaib Shah and Mr Tan Kah Boon, the Chairman of Proton importers and dealers, Pad and Econ Motors.

"2023 has been challenging for PROTON’s export business as many of our export markets are experiencing economic challenges resulting in capital market controls. However, our efforts to explore opportunities in other markets are continuing with groundwork underway in Fiji, Ghana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Iraq, among others.

“Simultaneously, we remain focused in growing our presence in our current export markets. The debut of the Proton X90, the company’s first New Energy Vehicle (NEV), in three export markets took place just three months after its Malaysian launch on 7 May, helping to uplift PROTON’s brand image in those markets. We view this as an investment in our future as we position ourselves to take advantage of improved market conditions in the future,” said Steven Xu, Director of International Sales, PROTON.

Brunei market has its best ever sales month

The popularity of Proton models has been surging in Brunei in recent months with the market achieving historical highs. The first batch of Proton X90 units has been selling rapidly and other models are also finding favour with buyers in a market with an estimated annual Total Industry Volume (TIV) of 13,000 units. For August, Proton vehicle sales hit the three-figure mark for the first time as 100 units were registered.

“The strong sales performance of Proton cars in Brunei this year is a result of the strength of our model line-up as well as the efforts of our importers. Culturally, there are many similarities between car buyers in Brunei and Malaysia, and the brand has a long history in the country, so we are very pleased to see we can still experience sales growth in a matured market,” said Steven Xu.