PETALING JAYA - Proton's sport utility vehicle (SUV) launch will help boost vehicle sales to close the year on a high, with the sales figure so far this year already outnumbering the 2017 figure.
Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) president Datuk Aishah Ahmad said vehicle sales should reach the total industry volume (TIV) target of 585,000 units by the year-end. She said TIV from January to October was already 6 per cent higher at 502,244 units, compared with 472,719 over the same period last year.
Despite the 23 per cent fall in vehicle sales in September after the end of the GST tax holiday on Aug 31, October sales shot up by 5.1 per cent, according to MAA figures.
"We did not expect it but in October, the numbers were good and in November, the numbers were also doing well," Aishah said yesterday.
The three-month zero-GST period from June 1 contributed 198,518 in vehicle sales.
The MAA had said that the sales volume of 68,465 units in July was the second highest monthly TIV achieved in the history of the local automotive industry.
The highest TIV by the industry was 69,371 units in December 2015.
Proton chief executive officer Dr Li Chunrong said over 10,000 bookings had been received for the X70 SUV.
"This is a good start. We will work hard to deliver on our product and brand promise," he said, adding that delivery of the X70 would commence soon.
Four versions of the X70 are available with prices ranging from RM99,800 to RM123,800.
The model is the first collaboration between Proton Holdings Bhd and Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holdings Group.
Malaysians on Facebook praised the new SUV, with Hom Rissay Iduasneb calling it "high tech and rich in features".
"This car is pretty cheap compared with other car brands in its segment," he said.
Ujang Rais said considering the specifications and accessories of the vehicle, the SUV was value for money.
Kay Stevenson felt that the car was also affordable.
"It is cheaper compared with the likes of the Honda CRV and Mazda CX5," Kay said.