Last year, Proton sold 154,611 vehicles, another record year of growth and its highest annual volume since 2012. Proton Commerce, its in-house financing arm which is a joint-venture between Proton Edar and CIMB Bank, saw a record growth in 2023 in tandem with the soaring sales of new vehicles.
Highest ever number of disbursements
The company provided financing packages for 27,288 Proton vehicles, its highest ever since starting operations in 2004. Notably, in eight out of 12 months, more than 2,000 disbursements were processed, with March reaching an all-time high of 2,934. That month was the final month of the PENJANA incentive period when sales tax was exempted for locally-assembled vehicles.
Not surprisingly, the company has been the financier of the most loans for the Proton Saga, the brand’s bestselling model. Since the fourth quarter of 2021, Proton Commerce has consistently held the leadership position for the model and, in 2023, 61% of its loans were for the Saga.
Maintaining growth momentum
Commenting on the achievement last year, Mooi Fi Phang, CEO of Proton Commerce, said: “The company’s growth momentum was set in 2022 despite the initial challenges faced by Proton in the early part of the year. Proton Commerce demonstrated resilience, staging a recovery to set a new record in disbursements in 2022 and this echoed throughout 2023 with a growth rate of 21%.”
“Looking at the Proton financing business landscape, our annual market share has demonstrated a steady upward trajectory, progressively advancing from 9% in 2018 to an impressive 18% by the end of 2023, marking the highest market share we have achieved thus far. In January and March 2023, our market position was noteworthy, positioning ourselves as the second-largest entity in terms of market share during this period,” he said.
Aiming for greater heights
This year, marking the 20th anniversary of starting operations, the company has formulated strategic plans to uplift its business to greater heights by leveraging on the sustained popularity of the existing Proton model range as well as the expected surge in demand for the new Proton S70.
“Proton Commerce aspires to ascend to the position of the foremost Proton financier. In addition to honouring the interest rate offered at the time of approval, we will also offer competitive finance packages for Proton’s newest models such as the X90 and S70, while also reaching out to EV customers who are interested to purchase the smart #1,” Mr. Mooi added.