Proton is geared to make a comeback, with a target of 10,000 units monthly sales beginning next year, according to its CEO Datuk Ahmad Fuaad Kenali.
However, according to a Bernama report, Fuaad said total sales for 2016 is expected to be below target, as buying momentum for the new models – the Perdana, Persona, Saga and Ertiga – is just picking up, with maximum sales of 90,000 expected to be hit by year-end.
“The delay in the launching of some of the models has affected the sales target for 2016.
“But with all the four products, we believe next year we should be able to achieve at least 10,000 sales per month, or 120,000 units for the whole of 2017,” he said.
The carmaker collaborated with Petronas for an exclusive range of Petronas Syntium SE engine oils and streamlined the parts prices for more than 600 items in the second-half of 2016, and also expanded its seven-day operations at selected service centres to 27 outlets.
Fuaad said the whole effort within Proton is now focusing on customers first.
The government had earlier this year approved a RM1.5 billion soft loan to Proton to help rejuvenate the carmaker but as one of the terms, it should immediately identify a strategic foreign partner to face the stiff competition from other automakers.
Proton is now in the midst of undertaking a request for proposal exercise seeking a partner that can provide a strategic, operational and cultural fit on a permanent basis with the intention of growing its automotive business.
It has shortlisted a final three potential foreign strategic partners as at year-end which Fuaad said has criteria that can propel Proton to greater heights.
He expects to receive a complete proposal in February 2017 and will make an announcement tentatively in the first quarter of next year after the final partner is selected.
“There could be further negotiations prior to the conclusion but hopefully a signing can be done by May 2017,” he said.