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Back in November last year, it was reported that national carmaker Proton was set to make an official return into the Chilean market with three models, the Preve, Exora and Saga, all in left-hand drive configuration.

Malaysian ambassador to Chile, Datuk Dr Mohammad Rameez Yahaya, had revealed the developments on his Facebook page. The first cars were set to arrive in December as test cars, with the cars being launched by April, with distributor Andes Motor representing the brand in the country.

Now, the first cars have arrived in Santiago, according to the ambassador, who posted photos of the Proton Preve and Exora being handed over to Andes Motor at its facility, located at Americo Vespucio Quilicura, on his Facebook page. The handing-over ceremony last week was attended by Dr Rameez as well as Andes Motor’s business development manager Maximiliano Sfeir and general manager, Jorge Greene.

Andes Motor is set to import a minimum of 500 Proton cars annually over the next five years, and according to the ambassador, the deal will increase trade between both countries by up to USD$6 million (RM26.2 million) a year.

Proton’s venture into the South American country dates back to the 1990s. The national carmaker previously sold the Wira and the Satria there. Back in 2013, reports had indicated that there was a strong possibility of a Proton re-entry into Chile following the announcement of the Malaysia-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA).