A Proton-badged Volkswagen Polo for RM70,000, anyone? According to a Business Times report, Volkswagen AG has identified the B-segment Polo as the best fit for Proton, and has formed a special team headed by operations head for Asia Pacific, Soh Wei Ming, to look into the possibility of remodelling the Polo as a Proton.
DRB-Hicom, Proton’s new owner, is of course Volkswagen’s local partner for CKD operations. The Polo is currently sold in Malaysia as a CBU import, and retails for RM113,888 in 1.2 TSI guise.
The report says that the plan put forward by VW to DRB-Hicom would see a locally-made Polo “priced competitively at below the RM70,000 mark”. No mention of it, but the Polo in question could well be the Polo Sedan, too.
It was revealed that some VW directors have visited the Proton plant and reviewed the national carmaker’s existing products. A meeting in Hong Kong last month between Soh and DRB-Hicom’s chief operating officer, Datuk Lukman Ibrahim followed, and it was then that the Polo project was proposed.
So if BT is to be believed, Proton is about to take a path similar to the one Skoda took in the early 90s. The Czech brand was then the butt of many a motoring joke, but thanks to VW hardware and know how, it’s now profit making company selling over 800k units globally. For those who don’t need a VW badge, Skodas offer the same good stuff at lower prices, a successful formula.
Like what you hear? Or do you believe that Proton, after nearly three decades in the business, should not merely be an assembler? Go on and put in your two cents worth in the comments section, but remember to keep it civil :)