Proton Holdings Bhd will maintain its target of producing between 40,000 and 50,000 cars for its financial year (FY) ending March 31, 2007 despite declining sales.
Its manufacturing director Datuk Kamarulzaman Darus believes that the production volume would be justified on the continued demand for Proton cars.
He added that Proton was also counting on demand from first-time buyers of cars.
“We will produce between 40,000 cars and 50,000 cars for this financial year from about 40,000 cars in FY06 despite the tougher car market environment,” Kamarulzaman told reporters after delivering 50 new Satria Neo cars to its customers in Tanjung Malim on July 27.
On the demand for Neo, he said orders had exceeded 2,000 units since its launch in June with over 1,000 cars delivered to its customers.
Kamarulzaman said Proton would launch a new model next year but did not elaborate.
He said the Tanjung Malim plant had a maximum capacity of 150,000 units on double shifts, and said the most popular models were the Gen-2 and Waja.
Kamarulzaman said the market was sluggish as customers were wary after the announcement of the National Automotive Policy and the new free trade agreement with Japan.
“Customers want to see if car prices might actually drop before wanting to buy new cars,” he said.
On Proton’s vendor consolidation programme, Kamarulzaman said the national car company was on track to reduce its vendors to no more than 50 from 275 vendors currently.