10 October 2011

Proton vs Perodua

The Malaysian car market has import duties, restricting sales of cars to almost exclusively locally made or assembled. The two local brand names are Proton (lower pic with the girls) and Perodua (upper pic). Proton does its own designs based on Mitsubishis, lately with some assistance from Lotus. Perodua make Daihatsus under license. So how do they fare? Back in 1993, the earliest year I have data for, Proton sold 74,500 cars in Malaysia, accounting for a whopping 74% of the market! Perodua started selling cars a year later but soon made inroads into Proton's domination. Below is a comparison of how they have progressed since the early 90's. The figures show the year, sales, market position, then percentage share of the market:

Year Proton


1995 140,600 1 62.5% 29,900 2 17.7%
2000 179,000 1 63.4% 82,500 2 29.2%
2005 166,100 1 41.4% 134,200 2 33.5%
2010 147,700 2 28.9% 188,600 1 34.7%

You can see that Perodua has run down Proton and moved past it for a comfortable lead. It shows that Proton has to lift its game with its cars if it is to compete, not only if it has international aspirations, but even domestically. Proton tried to procure a tie up with VW but it fell through in 1996, as VW wanted to eventually take over Proton rather than just being a partner. However, Proton is still working with Mitsubishi and has had success in exporting some cars to China.

With its highly protected market, Malaysians have limited choice when it comes to buying everyday cars, hence most have to choose between these two brands. They do not directly compete with product, and the advantage Perodua has it is in the very price sensitive small car segment. Proton will have more pressure from other brands in the larger cars it sells.

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