Proton has announced its sales results for the first quarter of 2020, where it managed to deliver a total of 21,757 cars. This represents a 20.4% improvement from the corresponding period last year, and the company says its market share now stands at to 20.1% from 17.4% during Q1 2019.

Comparing the first quarters of 2020 and 2019, sales of the Saga showed an increase of 36% to 8,824 units, while sales of the Iriz grew by 602% to 2,009 units. Other models that saw an increase in sales include the Persona (+243% to 5,677 units) and the Exora (+17% to 1,091 units), but the X70 experienced a decline of 48% to 4,145 units.

For the month of March 2020 alone, the national carmaker sold 3,277 cars, which is a 67% decrease from the 9,974 units reported in February. According to the national carmaker, the decline is a result of the movement control order (MCO) that has seen its sales outlets remain shut since March 18. It goes without saying that other car companies in the country will be affected by the MCO as well.

The latest figure is also 41% down when compared to same month in 2019, and the national carmaker expects the MCO to “affect car sales drastically this year. “While our performance in January and February was very strong and far ahead of 2019, our momentum was slowed due to the MCO,” said Li Chunrong, CEO of Proton.

Looking ahead, Proton expects the rest of 2020 to be “a very challenging year as the fallout from Covid-19 after the MCO ends puts businesses in unchartered territory.” Li said, “We are using this time to strategise and plan our next moves. Challenge is something that we embrace.”

“In a sense, because Proton has fought to return to a much stronger position, my team and I are prepared to weather this storm. Considering our improvement over the last two years, I am quietly confident that Proton will be able to overcome this crisis as we stay focused on our long-term goals,” he continued.