The COVID-19 pandemic has affected vehicle sales, purchases, logistics, and cost implications all over the world, thus making business activities challenging for numerous establishments, especially those in the automotive industry.
Proton, in partnership with Alhaj Group, had decided to take advantage of the recent popularity of the crossover SUVs in Pakistan by launching the X70 SUV towards the end of 2020. The vehicle debuted at around the same time as its competitors, the DFSK Glory 580 Pro and the MG HS.
While the latter is a hit across Pakistan, as per claims by Javed Afridi, a key stakeholder in MG, the other two — the DFSK Glory 580 Pro and the Proton X70 — do not seem to be as common on the road as the MG HS.
Proton recently clarified in a recent official statement that the delays in the deliveries of the X70s to customers are because of the challenges in logistics due to difficulties in transportation and an “unprecedented rise in shipping costs”.
The Proton X70 SUV was intended to be sold as a Completely Built-up Unit (CBU), and to go into production and be sold as a Completely Knocked Down (CKD) locally assembled unit in Pakistan by the second quarter of the 2021 calendar year. However, with the ongoing delay in the deliveries of the X70, it is unknown if or by how much the company’s scheduled plans have been affected.
This also raises the question of whether the upcoming Proton Saga will suffer the same fate attributed to logistical challenges as it is also to be sold initially as a CBU in Pakistan.