It appears that the automotive market is steadily rebounding from the coronavirus pandemic, the total industry volume (TIV) reaching a 13-month high in July thanks to the sales and service tax exemptions. One big beneficiary of all this is Proton, which announced that it had posted its highest single-month haul in eight years, selling 13,216 vehicles.

This figure represents a 37.5% increase over the previous month (9,623 units) and an encouraging 45.7% jump over the same month last year (9,072 units). Proton is forecasting a year-to-date market share of 21.8%, which would be up 6.7% over the same period in 2019.

Thanks to the impressive July sales, the year-to-date deficit compared to last year has narrowed to just 4.2% (50,294 vs 52,499 units), despite restricted sales due to the movement control order. By comparison, the forecasted gap for the industry as a whole is 33% (230,929 vs 347,177).

Proton claims four of its cars led their respective segments. The Saga was the bestselling A-segment sedan with 5,421 units sold – the highest for the nameplate since April 2014 – including 1,100 Anniversary Editions snapped up in just five days. The X70 registered its best-ever monthly sales of 3,087 units, retaining its bestselling SUV crown. Its market share has also increased by 4.3% compared to 2019, to 25.6%.

Elsewhere, the Persona continued to be the most popular B-segment sedan with 3,043 units sold, while the Exora topped the C-segment MPV market with 792 units sold. “We are especially happy with how our models are faring within their segments. We also note that there has been a positive effect on other areas of the business as a result of encouraging sales. For instance, Proton Commerce, our in-house vehicle financing provider, saw an increase of 100% in the number of loans it disbursed compared to the previous month.

“For August, Proton will look to continue to excite the market and stimulate sales in preparation for more model introductions later in the year. Our production, quality, sales and aftersales divisions are all working hard to ensure we are able to meet consumer demand as well as deliver a level of customer service befitting the brand promise that we have set out,” said new Proton Edar CEO Roslan Abdullah.