Proton has commenced the second shift for the production of the Saga in order to attain a monthly output of 5,000 units. The 2019 Saga facelift was launched last August at a lower starting price compared to the model it replaced, and its sales so far in January have not been affected by the launch of its segment competitor, the Perodua Bezza facelift, said Proton CEO Li Chunrong.

The national car brand also aims to have the Saga become the best-selling car in its segment throughout 2020, which will also contribute towards the company’s goal of increasing its sales target by at least 32% to a full-year total of 132,000 units, Li said. The Proton Saga will also see CKD assembly in Pakistan at a plant owned and operated by Alhaj Automotive, which will also go towards Proton’s volume for 2020.

Proton’s plans for growth this year will be bolstered by the arrival of new models, particularly the soon-to-be-launched CKD 2020 Proton X70 that is made at the Tanjung Malim plant. CKD production of the X70 SUV began at the end of 2019, one year on from the model’s launch in CBU form.

Exports are being considered as another contributor to growth, where the company is looking at increasing exports to around 4,000 units, and possibly up to 6,000 with additional aid and incentives from the government. Domestically, Proton will be supporting its increased growth with a larger network of 3S and 4S centres for 2020, and the company aims to have 150 outlets in place by the end of the year.

In February 2018, Proton had set longer-term targets which included achieving sales of 400,000 vehicles by 2027, and along the way it intends to sell 200,000 units by this year and 300,000 units by 2023 before arriving at the aforementioned 400,000-unit mark four years after that. Further along in this decade, Proton is aiming for a 30% market share in Malaysia and 10% of the ASEAN market.

GALLERY: Proton Saga 1.3 Premium AT facelift