Last Friday, Proton launched its range of facelifted models, the Iriz, Persona and Saga, in Brunei – making the Borneo country the first export market for these cars. The market availability of these three vehicles will be followed by a series of roadshows that will kick off on January 28.

The Bruneian launch is just the start of the national carmaker’s export market offensive, as it aims to become the third bestselling brand in ASEAN in the long term. The company said growing its overseas sales is critical to this plan, after it successfully secured second place in the local standings.

“When we updated the Iriz, Persona, Exora and Saga last year, we did so taking in to account the needs of markets outside of Malaysia and today, three of them are now available in Brunei. It’s a good start to 2020 but as the year progresses, we will be looking to export our cars to more countries,” said CEO Li Chunrong.

Proton is also looking to increase sales of the X70 SUV, now that locally-assembled 2020 model year versions are rolling off the new RM1.2 billion plant extension in Tanjung Malim. Li reiterated that further models being developed in collaboration with Geely are in the pipeline.

“Exporting the X70 will be critical for Proton’s future sales growth, especially in neighbouring ASEAN countries. It will spearhead the introduction of the next generation of Proton models currently being jointly developed with Geely and will lay the groundwork for the brand with customers in these markets,” he added.

The Iriz, Persona and Saga were revised last year with new designs inspired by the X70 – including the brand’s latest Infinite Weave grille – and improvements that include new touchscreen infotainment systems for all three models. The Saga also received a new Hyundai-sourced four-speed automatic transmission to replace the much-maligned CVT.

GALLERY: 2019 Proton Iriz facelift

GALLERY: 2019 Proton Persona facelift
GALLERY: 2019 Proton Saga facelift