Proton is not in the business of simply rebadging vehicles, and such practice will not be a part of the national carmaker’s immediate future – that’s according to Proton executive chairman and owning conglomerate DRB-Hicom’s Group managing director, Tan Sri Mohd Khamil Jamil.
He insists that the new Perdana model – often called the Accordana; the closest to a simple badge swap as Proton has come yet – is simply a stop-gap measure in reaction to the Government’s desperate plea to replace the ageing (and costly to maintain) fleet of original Perdana V6 vehicles.
It’s also just the first phase of a more comprehensive D-segment project by Proton, the second of which – the general market version that will be sold to the public, as opposed to the so-called Accordana’s 3,000-unit run that isn’t – will come to fruition in the next 24 months.
Khamil intimated that effectively, Proton is developing its own new car, albeit one that will be built on an existing Honda platform. There’s a distinct difference between the practice of rebadging a car and a platform-sharing agreement between two brands, he added. The ongoing Perdana project is of the latter in nature, not the former as thought by many.
On the new 2016 model, Proton deputy CEO Datuk Lukman Ibrahim also reiterated that the new car will have a “larger degree of differentiation” to create more visual distance between it and the vehicle it’s based on. As such, while hidden components will most likely be kept the same, the car’s exterior and interior will be unique to Proton. No word yet on what will be under the hood, though.
So there you have it, folks, no more rebadging for Proton in the near future. Thoughts on the matter?