Without doubt, the X50 has been a sales rocket ship for Proton, managing to attract buyers of all stripes due to its blend of practicality, style, performance, tech, and most importantly, value. Seem to us that the only thing really getting in the way of this sure fire hit is actually fulfilling all the orders.
Proton has stated that over 40,000 bookings have been made for the X50 in its various levels of trim since its launch in October 2020. To put that into perspective, that number is a little less half of the automaker’s average annual sales volume, comprising of just one model, over a period of 5 months.
That is, if they can fill all those orders. And that’s where we hit some bumps in the road. Due to unexpectedly high demand, we’ve all heard about the X50’s long waiting period - 6 months, perhaps even longer. They are, however, is confident that a steady supply - and deliveries - can be attained throughout 2021 to gradually reduce that wait time without compromising quality.
So far, roughly 11,000 units of the B-segment SUV have been delivered to customers with Proton confirming that approximately 3,500 of that total accounting for the last month (March) alone with February not far behind. Hopefully, April will be even higher.
Looking at this trend with the month-on-month production capacity increasing gradually, the automaker is confident that their momentum will be kept going into the second half of 2021. That said, given that rate, they would still need about 11 months - or around September 2021 - to fulfil those 40,000-ish orders. But by then, who knows how many more will be placed?
Proton’s current suspension of bookings for the X50 Standard variant is one of the temporary measures that the company has taken to streamline the production process at its Tanjung Malim plant and increase monthly deliveries, according to a statement obtained by The Edge Markets.
The spokesperson declined to provide any sales targets but did communicate Proton’s optimism about the X50’s long-term sales health well beyond 2021, particularly with the major disruption brought about by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic now behind us during this recovery period.
Proton is also working closely with its supply chain vendors to increase capacity, which has reportedly been a contributing factor to their challenges in ramping up factory output of X50s since its late-2020 launch, and that global computer chip shortage can't be helping matters either. Based on their current projections, the average waiting time is about 6 months.
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