Proton has announced that it managed to deliver 4,524 cars in the month of September, following its record 9,501 units sold in August. The reintroduction of the sales and services tax (SST), which came after the end of a three-month, zero-rated goods and services tax (GST) period, was largely the cause for the decrease in sales.

Despite the drop, Proton revealed that its estimated market share (as a percentage of total industry volume) increased to 15%. The national carmaker added that year-on-year sales grew by 1%, while market share was up by 4% from 2017.

“We predicted a drop in TIV for September because the previous three months of zero-rated GST had created an exceptional sales period for the market. With the rush to buy new cars over and SST being implemented, buyers returned to their normal buying patterns but there was an over correction in the short term,” said Abdul Rashid Musa, CEO of Proton Edar.

“Proton decided to minimise the impact by absorbing SST and our decision appears to have paid dividends as our overall market share grew to the highest level thus far in 2018,” he added, relating to the company’s decision to provide SST-free pricing for all Proton cars for the month of October.

“We are thankful to the government for the introduction of SST as it has resulted in lower prices for all Proton cars. The company has decided to extend the offer of SST-free pricing for another month as we would like to offer the benefit to as many customers as possible,” said Abdul Rashid.

Additionally, we also want to entice potential buyers by offering rebates worth up to RM3,000 for selected models. Ultimately, the aim is to maintain a consistent level of sales as we head toward adding the Proton X70 to our range at the end of 2018,” he continued.

On a side note, Proton also stated that it would hand over RM220,370 to Tabung Harapan Malaysia, and together with the RM61,730 given prior, will amount to total contribution of RM282,100. “Proton had earlier pledged to earmark RM10 for the Tabung Harapan for every car sold from the beginning of June to the end of 2018,” commented Abdul Rashid.

“The announcement from the government to close the fund at the end of September means we have to bring the initiative to a premature end. However, we are proud of having made a contribution to help Malaysia that reinforces our standing as a responsible Malaysian corporate entity,” he added.