Proton’s quest to become more export-oriented continues with the addition of another international market for the Proton Saga which is Pakistan. The latest model of the brand’s bestseller made its debut in Pakistan earlier this month, the eighth overseas market where it is offered besides Brunei, Bangladesh, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Mauritius and Nepal.
The Proton Saga line-up for Pakistan consists of three versions -, the Saga with manual transmission, Saga with automatic transmission and a better equipped Saga Ace AT.
Additionally, 100 units of the Saga R3 Limited Edition will also be available, and customers can have it with a manual or automatic transmission.
As in Malaysia, the launch of the Saga in Pakistan was done online due to the present COVID-19 pandemic making large gatherings unsuitable.
Present at the launch was the High Commissioner of Malaysia to Pakistan, Ikram Mohammad Ibrahim. Encik Ikram said that he hoped Proton’s operations in the country will further strengthen economic ties with Malaysia.
Following the launch of the X70 in December last year, the Saga is the second model to be offered in Pakistan. Currently, all Proton models are imported from Malaysia in completely built-up (CBU) form but the company’s partner, Al-Haj Automotive, is preparing for local assembly operations at its new plant in Karachi by the third quarter of 2021.
With a planned capacity of 25,000 units per annum, the plant will enable sales of Proton cars to grow quickly in the market which Proton sees as having much growth potential. “I am thankful to our fellow Pakistanis for making the Proton Saga an instant success in Pakistan. This car will definitely stand out for its reliability, durability and value for money,” said Hilal Khan Afridi, CEO of Al-Haj Automotive, who is confident that Pakistani customers will be attracted to the Proton brand and its products.
As the second quarter of 2021 starts off, Proton is looking to increase its international market presence to achieve its long-term goals. Besides the Saga – the volume seller in most markets – the X70 and X50 are also being exported.
“Exports are an important pillar for PROTON and will account for an increasing percentage of our sales volume in coming years. Aside from promoting the features of our products, we also leverage on the high quality reputation of Malaysia’s manufacturing sector, which lends credibility to our own product story. In 2021, aside from exploring new opportunities, we will also ramp-up efforts to re-enter major ASEAN markets such as Thailand and Indonesia,” said Roslan Abdullah, CEO of Proton Edar.