Ever since initial sketches of the Proton MPV was revealed by Buletin Utama TV3, there have been readers who have noticed similarities with a disguised next generation Chery MPV that has been spotted and captured on camera in Europe. It’s only natural to start speculating. Let’s take it beyond speculation for abit shall we?
If you compare the sketch to the actual vehicle that was snapped there seems to a few similarities, with even the design of the front bumper being rather similiar.
Let us go back in time and take a look at the trail left on the internet from the short stint Proton had with Chery in the past three years.
- Proton signs joint feasibility study MoU with Chery Automobile Co Ltd and Alado Corp Sdn Bhd for the evaluation of “possibilities and opportunities for, inter alia providing assembly services and distribution of vehicles of Proton and Chery brands in China, Malaysia and also in ASEAN” – Bursa Malaysia 23/05/2006
- Proton extends MoU with Chery and Alado for another two months – Bursa Malaysia 01/09/2006
- NST quotes Alado Corp Sdn Bhd saying Proton was in talks with Chery to produce an MPV first, and later an SUV – 28/09/2006 “Proton looks to China to make bigger cars” by Zuraimi Abdullah, NST Page 43
- Proton extends MoU with Chery and Alado until 28th February 2007 – Bursa Malaysia 04/12/2006
- Proton, Chery and Alado end feasibility studies, and begin evaluating findings – Bursa Malaysia 26/02/2007
If you look at the timeline of news releases, there’s only one mention of development of an MPV with Chery and it came from Alado Corp, Chery’s local assemblers and franchise holders, not from Chery or Proton. Proton’s initial announcement of an MoU stated that what was being evaluated was an assembly and marketing deal, not an engineering/co-development deal.
Another explanation could be that those sketches in Datuk Syed Zainal’s presentation were old, back from the days where Proton did have something going on with Chery, but whether it is still happening now or not is another question altogether.
So does the Proton MPV have anything to do with the new unreleased Chery MPV? There is NO reliable indication anywhere of any relation at this point of time, just some similarities in aesthetics. More updates to be posted as info becomes available.
LATEST UPDATE: I think we can put an end to the speculation going around that this new Proton MPV is the Chery MPV spotted in Europe simply because the Chery MPV is not even a Chery MPV in the first place, so 4Car and various other European publications who published the shots have got it wrong. As you can see, the vehicle has already been launched and it is actually the Landwind Fashion. So there we have it, just a little bit of research and digging up around the internet and we have an answer! :) The new Proton MPV has nothing to do with Chery. Thanks to Nahar ARS for the photo.