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Proton To Increase Car Prices After CNY

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PETALING JAYA – National carmaker Proton Holdings Bhd says it may have to increase its car prices after Chinese New Year (CNY) in February with the rising costs of imported parts due to the depreciating ringgit.

“The ringgit level now is lower as compared with a year ago, which has affected our imported parts prices,” Chief Executive Officer Datuk Harith Abdullah said after a ceremony marking the appointment of new dealers.

At 9 am, the local unit was traded at 4.3930/4000 against the greenback, a far cry from the 3.57 level it was trading the same time last year.

Harith said Proton is trying its best to hold back the increase until CNY to enable its customers to enjoy a brand new car at current prices.

According to Proton, 20-30 per cent of the parts in its vehicles are imported.

Proton Chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said with the weakening of the ringgit, the national carmaker has had to pay more for imported parts and services required in manufacturing its cars.

“It’s not going to be just Proton, all other companies will have to face the fact that they have to pay more for imported parts, especially those who are just probably assembling (the cars) in Malaysia.

“This (car price increase) is something that people would expect. At the moment, we are still holding on, trying not to increase prices. We hope we can hold on as long as we can,” he said.

Honda Malaysia has increased its car prices by 2-3 per cent this year, while UMW Toyota Motor has announced that it too will hike the prices of its products by 4-16 per cent this month onwards.

Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia has also hinted at a similar move. – BERNAMA

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