Malaysian national carmaker Proton, which launched its latest Proton Persona sedan on Wednesday, plans to export the car to Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Britain and Australia to reap economies of scale as the domestic market is limited.
"You cannot concentrate on the domestic market alone as it is getting smaller and smaller. That's why export is going to be the approach," said managing director Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir.
"As for today, Proton does not enjoy economies of scale," he said, adding that the company was pushing for export to gain lower production cost and better margins.
"We can still work alone and be profitable, but we want to grow big in a much more rapid manner," he told reporters at a media test drive of the new Persona.
Asked about his expectation on exports, Syed Zainal said though it is too early to tell, he expects the demand to be good.
"Persona" means "vision of beauty", and the new model is designed to replace the 14-year-old Proton Wira. It is expected to push up Proton's sales, positioning itself in competition with models in the sub-B and B segments category.
"We are confident of selling more than 4,000 units a month as the entire packaging of the car is very attractive," the national news agency Bernama quoted Syed Zainal as saying.
Also, attractive pricing strategy and right timing could help Proton to meet its targeted monthly sales, he said.
Available in both manual and auto versions, the Persona is considered the most competitively priced 1,600cc car as its indicative price ranges from 44,999 ringgit (13,235 U.S. dollars) to 55,000 ringgit (16,176 U.S. dollars).
The car is designed to fulfill key criteria like style, safety, spaciousness, practicality, quality, comfort and performance.
It comes in iridescent white, metal gray, tranquillity black, solid white, solid red, light gold and blueberry tea.
Proton's Persona, was unveiled on Wednesday by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin in Shah Alam, capital city of central Selangor state.
The new sedan has already received bookings for 2,000 units and 350 cars will be delivered to customers after the launch, Syed Zainal said.