Proton returns to profitability in 2019 – Li Chunrong

Proton returns to profitability in 2019 – Li Chunrong

In December last year, Proton CEO Li Chunrong said that the carmaker could return to profitability in 2019. That’s now confirmed. At the company’s Chinese New Year media luncheon today, Li told paultan.org that Proton is indeed back in the black, spurred by strong domestic sales in 2019.

However, the Proton chief could not disclose any figures as Proton is part of DRB-Hicom, which is a public listed company. Specifics will have to wait till the conglomerate releases its annual figures, which wouldn’t be too far away as DRB-Hicom has changed its financial year end from March 31 to December 31.

Undoubtedly, Proton had a very good 2019. The company announced earlier that it sold 100,821 units (domestic plus export) last year, an increase of 55.7% over 2018 figures. That’s also good enough to give it an overall market share of 16.7%, the highest since 2014. The official final tally will be released by MAA soon.

Proton returns to profitability in 2019 – Li Chunrong

The sales target for 2020 is a minimum of 132,000 units, which would be a 32% jump. Powering Proton will be growing demand for the Saga facelift, the soon-to-be-launched CKD X70 and the debut of the “Proton X50” in the later part of the year. The smaller sibling to the X70 will start life as a locally assembled model, it has been confirmed.

Bullish sales target aside, Li also declared that Proton is aiming to top the sales charts in five different segments this year. Although he did not mention which segments Proton wants to lead, Li did say that the company has been at the top of a number of segments over the course of 2019. Notably, the X70 has been leading the “premium C-segment SUV segment” since the start of the year, while the Exora currently tops the C-segment MPV market.

Elsewhere, the Saga also led the A-segment sedan market at some points last year, and it’s set to continue the rivalry with the just-facelifted Perodua Bezza this year. We’re speculating that the other two classes could be those of the new X50 (B-segment SUV; Proton can always add a “premium” to the name should rivals prove pesky) and the Persona (B-segment sedan).

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Danny Tan

Danny Tan loves driving as much as he loves a certain herbal meat soup, and sweet engine music as much as drum beats. He has been in the auto industry since 2006, previously filling the pages of two motoring magazines before joining this website. Enjoys detailing the experience more than the technical details.

 

Comments

  • PityP1 on Jan 20, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    Congratulation mr. Lichunrong. It is becos of ur hardwork and ur help tat u can turn around the already tunggang terbalik proton to back in profitable bisnes. Without u mr. Li, proton will tunggang terbalik forever and kolos shop long ago. Once again thanks to u mr. Lichunrong.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 9
    • Roti john Sdn Bhd on Jan 20, 2020 at 10:02 pm

      Li Chunrong is trully a professional CEO. With Li Chunrong guiding Proton, Proton that is supposed to be a Game Over carmaker is now improving a lot. This shows that Li Chunrong is very competent and have the ability to lead a company. So once again, thank you Game-Changing Geely, China and Li Chunrong for saving Proton’s life. Without your guidance, Proton would have already Game Over and we all have to suffer just to save Proton again

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4
    • Rakyat Malaysia on Jan 20, 2020 at 11:21 pm

      Well done to Proton but more importantly, thanks to all our abang-abang engineers, technicians, operators, all the way down to the cleaners for making Proton a great success since Day One. You all have contributed much to the national automotive sectors and made your country proud. Without you guys, we would not have reached this level today. So tahniah to you all! You have made Proton proud, you have made DRB proud, you have made Malaysia proud, you have made us rakyat proud. Now is time to impress Geely and make them proud. Majulah Proton!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3
      • Anak Malaysia on Jan 21, 2020 at 1:16 pm

        True dat. But more importantly, Geely and Li Chunrong for their ability to turn a team that has not been well managed to a tight team that delivered. The entire experience has shown us that however talented you are, when it comes to teamwork, without good leadership, all are in vain. So, thanks Geely and Li Chunrong!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
    • MyGard on Jan 20, 2020 at 11:25 pm

      Want pipu buy more proton car and sell 132k?
      We want a misidis bmw volvo standard saga, can 0-100 3sec, cqn 300kmh, but wif basic low spec saga price. Then proton can easily achip 132k sales. Can can?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11
    • Calvin on Jan 21, 2020 at 12:01 am

      Li Chunrong is like the Ghosn of Proton but unlike Ghosn, Dr Li most probably won’t share his fate as Proton staffers and management are more grateful to those sincere in moving Proton to new heights not like Nissan.

      Nissan so ungrateful. When they were down, when they were practically bankrupt, they went to Renault begging on their knees for help.

      And Renault was so generous to send in their best A Team and their best CEO and tons of money to save them. And save them they did, all thanks to Ghosn whose achievements are like Messiah. And what the japanese did, they backstabbed him and paraded him around to be shame just like Messiah. They were about to sacrifice him just like Messiah but he was smart to run in the end. Japan didn’t syukur for him coming to save them but instead wanted to end him. And there are many examples like these japanese that never syukur for being saved.

      These japanese and others like them don’t deserve leaders such as Ghosn & Najib & Jeez that only appears once in 2000 years, willing to put everything they had into saving their company/country/souls, but see what those got saved do to them? Jailed, spat at, publicly humiliated, willing to sacrifice them w/o thinking what they had done to save them.

      The world and its people and history doesn’t deserve such luminaries.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 6
    • Abdul Ghaffar on Jan 21, 2020 at 8:12 am

      Geely only started in 1997. Proton started in 1985.

      Yet Geely can make USD$30 billion in profit last year.

      I wonder why Proton could not make it also when they also could have exported Proton cars to the China market and to the world market.

      Geely only had the China market to market their cars in the past and that also they had to compete with so many local China car producers.

      How come a younger company like Geely can do so well? Answer is hard work.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4
      • Anak Malaysia on Jan 21, 2020 at 1:18 pm

        Geely has the advantage of a big market and government support. And well, the Chinese are also very hardy people and won’t go down that easily.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
        • desmond on Jan 22, 2020 at 10:44 am

          anak Malaysia – you love US propaganda and misinformation, don’t you?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3
    • Why We Need Foreign Brains? on Jan 21, 2020 at 8:16 am

      Well done Proton. Lucky China came and helped you. Li Chunrong and Geely, within 6 months could identify all the leakages Proton had, what local CEOs could not identify in 30 years.

      This is why we need more foreign CEOs from Mainland to come into Malaysia to help run our GLCs and even Putrajaya. We will see a 10 fold increase in productivity and we will become FIRST World soon.

      Already 2020, our vision to be FIRST world tak jadi, nevermind, never too late to get brains and intelligence from Mainland to help us achieve this goal

      Tak malu ke? Orang China dan Geely do all the work, and Proton fanboys claim the glamour and fame?

      If someone sat an exam for me and got an A for me, i will be shy to tell the world I got an A for that paper because it is someone else who did all the hard work.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3
    • History of Malaysia same as Proton on Jan 21, 2020 at 8:32 am

      Macam Zaman Melaka dulu dulu, Hang Li Po dan Hang Tuah (from China) do all the hard work but Hang Jebat go and claim glamour…ha ha ha ha

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3
    • Add A Comment on Jan 21, 2020 at 9:30 am

      you from /k ?? the way you typed shouts you are from /k

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  • Tak malu on Jan 20, 2020 at 7:24 pm

    Tahniah bravo.
    Opsss bkn tahniah utk local ceo yer. Tp utk dr. Li. Local local tak boleh pakai punya. Kerana dr. Li proton hidup kembali. Tanpa dr. Li ntah ke mana pegi proton kang nih. Belajar lah dari dr. Li utk buat bisnez. Bkn hanya tau goyang kaki saja org local local nih. Tak malu ke kompeni keta negara sendiri dijalan dan dimajukan oleh org asing? Buka mata sedar sikit wahai local ceo pemalas tu. Seolah-olah kampung sendiri diketuai oleh ketua kampung org asing. Pehhhhh.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 14
    • Dudley Bersamamu on Jan 20, 2020 at 10:46 pm

      dr. Li worked 12hours a day, 6days a week…
      unlike past CEOs from Drb so proud in Audi A8.
      And dual-tone colour scheme for facelift Protons.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2
    • Mohd Adnan on Jan 21, 2020 at 12:11 am

      Bai u ingat ke seorg ketua blh berjaya tanpa pengikutnye ke bai? Tau membebel saje. Peehhhh!!!

      Kejayaan proton membuktikan usaha2 dan akal bijaksana pekerja2 di proton. Tugas dr li ni hanya semata pemangkin usaha2 budak2 kita.

      So tak betullah ko mencaci ceo2 mesia padahal kita ada ramai ceo2 yg berbakat lebih dr org asing. Yg baik org kita sanggup mengikut dan belajar dr org lebih pandai sampai dia sendiri pandai. Toksah nak mencaci mrk tu. Mrk tu lebih berkemampuan dr ko ni duduk kat keybod.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8
    • Mulutcyber on Jan 21, 2020 at 8:12 am

      Betul, kalau tak asyik bailout duit rakyat jer oleh si tua tu… ihihihihihi

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2
    • Abu Bakar Awang on Jan 21, 2020 at 8:14 am

      Lucky China, Geely and Li Chunrong helped save Proton. We need more Mainland people into Malaysia to help run our GLCs more efficiently.

      Look at TH, already needed RM10.3 bil bailout, if we have another Li Chunrong running it, he can turn it around and make it profitable like Proton

      We should not syiok sendiri when China is doing all the work and have given the product buta buta to us ie the X70 and X50

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2
  • Where is the SH who says Proton loses 4 million a day?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 5
    • Proton is finally doing well under the leadership of a Mainlander.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4
    • redpilled on Jan 21, 2020 at 12:08 am

      Where is the Sh!t Head who says Proton loses 4 million a day?

      There, corrected it for you.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
    • redpilled on Jan 21, 2020 at 12:09 am

      Prolly partying with YB n GRO, snorting blow.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
    • Why We Need Foreign Brains? on Jan 21, 2020 at 8:17 am

      So shameful, dulu kutuk kata balik tongsan, sekarang, macam anjing go and crawl and beg for help from those you kutuk

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3
    • Why Proton failed before? on Jan 21, 2020 at 8:25 am

      This CEO Tranformed Proton in 6 months what our abang abang CEOs could not do in 20 years. Minum teh 8x sehari and hardly work

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2
  • Dukiley on Jan 20, 2020 at 8:35 pm

    Bila rasuah dan sikap malas dah takde kat atas. Baru bisnes boleh jalan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 2
  • what??? X50 no CBU model???
    Dang!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7
    • FireAce on Jan 21, 2020 at 9:59 am

      To me CBU is only have meaning when it is “Made in Japan/Germany”.

      As for China, they still have much to prove in terms of build quality and this will takes years to be able to demonstrate with cars that can last at least 200,000km (drive 2000km/month x 9 years loan) of trouble free driving with original engine and transmission <- yeah, this seven-speed dual-clutch transmission!!!.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
      • Anak Malaysia on Jan 21, 2020 at 1:22 pm

        China has progressed so much that much of the narration that I hear about China are about 10 – 15 year-old. Today’s China has landed on the moon, launched more GPS satellite than the US, has the technology that made high speed train possible and many more achievements that were once a dream. This year, they are going to Mars.

        So CBU from China ain’t that bad.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  • Syerin on Jan 20, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    And proton haters suddenly be like “we know proton can do it”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Did you notice that Proton GCPA in November 2017 was 6680 points and the competitor was 4500 points.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Rakyat on Jan 21, 2020 at 7:18 am

    Moral of the story – Get a good CEO and things will change. Period.

    Cant imagine how many billions those previous CEO had been benefit for the “minority”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • The epitome of Proton.
    One of the many successes we can be proud of…
    Unfortunately, if it was not hindered last year by the old man, it would have been even more profitable today.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • Jeremy Chua on Jan 21, 2020 at 10:07 am

    Can we have Dr. Li to lead Malaysia Airlines?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • I rather prefer Dr Li head MOF and replace our incompetent Nobita.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • john is otak batu on Jan 21, 2020 at 10:45 am

    Dr.Li is doing a fantastic job in “Potong”
    Dear Tun, pls stop & forget your “Protiga” pet project. Rakyat can C this Original national car having a bright future.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • Alpha M on Jan 21, 2020 at 11:18 am

    Congrats Proton!
    I wish more success in 2020 and years to come.
    Wish to see Proton keeps up the momentum by producing quality cars with optimum price for the rakyat.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • desmond on Jan 22, 2020 at 10:38 am

    But Li is communist. We should learn from that brilliant r Trump to kick out the communist. Malaysian industries will soon be taken over by China, starting with Proton.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • desmond on Jan 22, 2020 at 10:42 am

    I like the way Proton turned around by recruiting more staff, churn out new models plus injection of existing high tech withheld by the Japanese and the West against us. Withholding and preventing progress is fair trade. Anyway the western style of turn around is to cut cost and sack staff, in the end overturning the company instead.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
 

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