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Proton achieves impressive milestone after re-entering South Africa

The local arm of Proton recently took delivery of the 1,000th customer vehicle shipped to South Africa from Malaysia just over two months after the manufacturer officially re-entered the market following a 10-year hiatus.

This makes South Africa the second-largest export destination in terms of volume out of the 14 countries the Asian automaker sells vehicles in, despite being the newest addition.

Proton re-enters South Africa

In April 2022, Proton signed with CMH Group to be its domestic distributor and shortly thereafter opened the doors of 20 dealerships while simultaneously launching the X50 and X70 SUVs.

Since then, the company has seen “a steady increase in sales across South Africa” and it aims to double its purchase volumes in 2023, a goal that will be aided by the launch of another SUV and two new sedans.

“With the new vehicles that will be entering the South African market in 2023, we can positively say that we will have a car for everyone,” said Marius Smal, managing director of Proton South Africa.

“Meeting the market halfway, in regards to product and pricing, is never an easy task, but 2023 brings opportunity for more customers.”

What’s on offer

At present, Proton has two products in South Africa in the form of the sporty X50 starting at R449,900, and the family-oriented X70 which retails from R529,900.

The smaller of the two SUVs is offered in four grades – Standard, Luxury, Executive, and Premium – each one driven by a 1.5-litre, turbo-petrol motor mated to a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission that turns the front wheels.

This setup pumps out 110kW and 226Nm in the three more affordable variations, whereas in the range-topping Premium model it puts out 130kW and 255Nm.

Every X50 brings a generous array of standard features, too, including LED headlamps with daytime running lights, an 8-inch infotainment system offering Bluetooth, cruise control, keyless entry and start, a reverse camera, rear parking sensors, ABS with brake assist, hill-hold assist, and hill descent control.

The larger X70 is equipped with the same powertrain as the X50, generating 130kW and 255Nm in every specification, though unlike its smaller sibling, it can also be had with an all-wheel-drive system in the Executive trim level.

The X70 then comes in Standard, Executive, and Premium X offerings, providing buyers with automatic headlamps, LED fog lamps, an 8-inch media display with Bluetooth, a digital driver’s display, a leather multifunction steering wheel, cruise control, keyless entry and start, dual-zone climate control, ABS with brake assist, auto brake hold, hill-descent assist, rear parking sensors, a reverse camera, and 17-inch wheels.

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