Malaysian national carmaker Proton reported an almost 20% year-on-year sales rise to 11,873 vehicles in February 2021, which it claims is the highest level in over a decade.

The company has benefited from strong demand for the new Geely-based X50 compact SUV which was launched at the end of October last year. It slotted in below the X70, a slightly larger SUV also based on a Geely model, originally launched at the end of 2018 and updated in August 2020.

Proton said it had received 30,000 orders for the X50 by the end of 2020 and deliveries to customers had reached 8,141 units by the end of February.

In February Proton sold 3,345 X50 and 1,475 X70 models, although the Saga A-segment model remained its best-selling model with 4,217 deliveries.

Proton also sold 1,818 Persona and 650 Iriz B-segment models and 367 Exora compact MPVs last month.

The company also began sales of its first model, the Saga, in Kenya at the end of last month, assembled by local company Simba Corporation.