The manufacture and distribution of new Proton vehicles is one of the many operations affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, Utusan Malaysia reported today. Most affected among them is the Proton X50 which was launched in October this year, said Proton Edar CEO Roslan Abdullah.

There have been more than 30,000 bookings made for the national brand’s B-segment SUV, with 3,200 units delivered and registered thus far, he said. “We aim to have 4,000 units delivered by December 31, which is consistent with our earlier statement,” the Proton Edar CEO said at a briefing.

Various stages of the movement control order (MCO) since March have also disrupted vendor operations as they are unable to fulfil the bookings received, he said. “It is a reaction of the supply chain. when vendors are unable to supply, we can’t fulfil orders as a result,” Roslan said.

The most recently-received bookings may take six to eight months to be delivered, while the company aims to have the earliest bookings delivered by April, he said, adding that the sales tax exemption that took effect from June 15 as part of the government’s Penjana economic stimulus plan has been among the key factors in the strong reception for the Proton X50.

An extension of the sales tax exemption until June 30, 2021 was announced by the government yesterday, confirming that the percentage of exemption remains unchanged from when it was originally announced, that is a 100% exemption for locally-assembled (CKD) cars and 50% for fully imported (CBU) cars.

The length of the customer queue means that even with the latest tax exemption extension, customers at the tail end of the list may have to bear the difference in the eventual price hike once the tax exemption period ends. With that in mind, Proton Edar will work towards offering a loyalty reward for its affected customers. “We are not able to provide details yet, but we will have something for the customers,” Roslan said.