Theophilus Chin’s “Waja 2” rendering, a Waja/Perdana replacement model – what could happen if Proton pulled a SEAT and rebadged an Audi A4.
Proton managing director Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir revealed a few details on what’s coming up on Proton’s roadmap in the future. The following is a quick summary of what’s hopefully going to happen if everything goes well:
- Proton is in discussions with shareholders on the issue of strategic collaborations with a partner that could complement Proton’s existing markets instead of competing directly against it. Collaboration include areas like technology, vehicle platforms, improve efficiency, etc.
- Next generation Waja and Perdana will be a partnership with other manufacturers. The Proton Waja replacement should be out by early 2010. It seems that Proton is working with one partner for the Waja project and a different one for the Perdana project.
- A decision to be made soon on a new engine family that will replace the Campro engine by 2014, preferably a collaboration with another company for better economies of scale.
- A small capacity diesel engine for passenger cars from either PSA Peugeot Citroen or Fiat. The 1.3 litre Fiat JTD turbodiesel engine seems to be cheap enough for the diesel-powered Tata Indica Vista Quadra Jet so it could be cheap enough for Proton. It is available in various states of tune. Tata uses the 75 PS version. This engine won the 2005 International Engine of the Year award for the 1.0 litre to 1.4 litre category.
- Evaluation and testing of hybrid and electric technology for cars.
- Consolidation of dealer network to continue. Optimum value is said to be 200 outlets, while the current number stands at just under 300.
- Proton MPV launch in March 2009, targets 50k-60k global combined annual sales.
- Proton will continue to monitor and be cautious about the China partnership with Youngman. Syed Zainal says Proton is looking at how they are performing and will not hesitate to make a move if there are obstacles. Proton could appoint another dealer if it feels it is necessary, but this remains to be decided until after the Persona is launched in China. Proton cars are sold in China by Youngman under the Europestar badge.
Look after the jump for a rear 3/4 view of Theophilus Chin’s rendering.
Proton Prima by Kevin Lee