India’s The Economic Times reveals that Proton has finalised its India plans and is set to enter the Indian market initially with a 3 model line-up comprising of the Proton Savvy 1.2 litre, the Proton Saga 1.3 litre and the Proton Persona 1.6 litre.
They will be introduced in phases with the first to hit the market in early 2009. The cars are currently undergoing trials and technical evalutations – India’s homologation rules are quite stringent from what I’ve heard.
There is also some new news regarding Proton’s talks with a JV partner in India. Apparently talks with Mahindra & Mahindra have fell through, according to an unnamed senior executive from Indian company Proton Motors Ltd.
“We were close to striking a deal with M&M, but they have preferred to distance themselves from the car market after the Logan sedans not too successful run. We are now looking for a possible joint venture with other Indian automobile companies, particularly with a strong focus on marketing,” the senior executive revealed.
He also added that Proton will be looking at the high fuel efficiency niche as part of its Indian strategy, and there is also the possibility of introducing Protons there with the ability to use Compressed Natural Gas as fuel.
Proton and the Indian automotive industry