Confirmed: Proton vehicles return to SA
Malaysian carmaker, Proton seems to have finally found a workable recipe after exiting the local market in 2012 due to unfavourable market conditions.
The brand is making a comeback to the local scenery and already, the first batch of 1,200 Proton models have been offloaded in Durban. Proton has appointed the CMH Group as its official distributor supported by 25 dedicated Proton dealerships.
Despite its formerly underwhelming presence in SA, Proton has been exporting its cars to overseas markets and, according to a report, total export sales have increased by 175% for the first quarter of 2022.
Proton expects that number to grow by more than 300% by the end of the year.
Proton is set to introduce the X50 and X70 SUVs from September 2022, which carry a starting price of R450,000.
Details regarding the duo remain scarce at the moment but Proton says "the cars offer class-leading engines, technologies, designs, safety features plus warranties to help them combat with European luxury brands". We'll have to wait and see about that.
"Our new model range offers advanced features that are on par with many competitors from other brands and in many of our markets, the Proton X50 and X70 sit near the top of their class in terms of specifications but are sold at prices equivalent to, or less than, their direct rivals. This helps to draw in the upper echelon of local car buyers and helps build brand equity in these markets, making it easier for our other products to then be accepted in the future," adds Director of International Sales at Proton, Steven Xu.
The Proton X50 and X70 models are developed in partnership with Chinese-based automaker Geely. Proton will introduce the Saga sedan at a later stage.