Proton Edar expects to sell at least 4,000 units of the Proton Saga SV yearly in Sabah, reports Bernama. According to Edar CEO Hisham Othman, nearly 1,000 bookings have been recorded for the car in the East Malaysian state.

The nationwide booking count has now surpassed 8,000 (up from 6,000 late last month), around half of which are expected to translate into sales. Hisham said this exceeded expectation, considering the entry-level Saga variant has only officially been on the market for three weeks. “You can own this car for as low as RM280 monthly payment (in Sabah),” he said.

Bernama also reports that neighbouring Sarawak is expected to contribute a significant market share for the Proton Saga SV. “Our previous sales trend showed Proton Saga sales of all variants accounted for 15% of Proton sales in Sarawak,” the national news agency quoted Hisham as saying.

He also said the company was trying to reduce the price gap between East Malaysia and the peninsular. Consumers in Sabah and Sarawak have to bear an additional RM3,000 in freight costs, which include storage, shipping, transportation and insurance.

The national carmaker has 12 outlets in Sabah and 13 in Sarawak. The Proton Saga SV is sold at a starting price of RM36,138 in both East Malaysian states.