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NEWS UPDATES 15 August 2009

Malaysia’s Proton to launch new model in Thailand by year end

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Malaysia’s national car maker Proton Holdings Bhd plans to launch the country's first multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), the Exora, in Thailand before the end of this year, reported state news agency Bernama.

Managing Director Syed Zainal Abidin said the model was well received in Malaysia, since its launch on April 15, and was also enjoying roaring sales in Indonesia since its debut there in July.

"The Exora will be introduced in Thailand this November or December, thanks to buyers and the media which have been complementing Exora's good features," he told reporters after launching Proton's Merdeka celebration in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

The programme, beginning August 16 through September 15, would see various Proton models, including the first Proton Saga and the latest Exora taking part in a nationwide road convoy.

Syed Zainal said, todate, Proton received 18,000 bookings for the Exora while 10,000 of the MPVs were already registered in the domestic market. In Indonesia, Proton received 1,200 bookings for the MPV, out of which 230 units have already been delivered.

He said Proton was targetting vehicle sales of 150,950 units for the financial year ending March 31, 2010, and planned to sell about 36,000 units of the Exora in the current financial year.

For the financial year ended March 31, 2009, the company sold 141,000 vehicles. "We are now trying our best to increase production capacity to meet market demand and reduce the waiting list," Syed Zainal said, adding that the company's current monthly output of the Exora stood at 3,500 units.

Proton is expected to announce, next week, its financial results for the first quarter ended June 30, 2009.



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