With the second movement control order now in its third week – with another two weeks to go, following Monday’s announcement – the local automotive industry is starting to feel its effects. Aside from the significant drop in sales in January, Proton also confirmed that its production volumes have been affected by a shortage of parts, as the national carmaker struggles to meet demand.

As Proton Edar CEO Roslan Abdullah explained, vendor delays have had an impact on Proton’s production output – a situation that has afflicted the company for some time now. “Our supply lines have been disrupted over the last few months by the coronavirus, making it difficult to ensure a steady flow of parts needed to build our cars. It’s something all car manufacturers have been facing for the past year but we are hopeful that with the arrival of a vaccine, things will stabilise by the middle of the year,” he said.

The good news is that despite these issues, Proton is still moving ahead with its product launch plans for this year. While the company didn’t reveal any details, the facelifted Iriz and Persona has been spotted undergoing testing multiple times, suggesting that the revised B-segment models will go on sale sooner rather than later. A Geely-based model may also be on the cards later on.

“We have an exciting series of improved products in the pipeline, while the X50 will now be able to establish its standing in the market by benefitting from a full year of sales. There will undoubtedly be more challenges ahead until the world is able to control the spread of the virus, but we are aware this is now the new norm for doing business and the onus is on us to innovate our operations to better serve our customers,” said Roslan.