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With more and more countries slated to receive the Proton Iriz, it appears the “global car” is finally about to see the world. The latest nation added to the list is India, which may even assemble the B-segment hatch, according to a report by Autocar Professional.

Proton chief technical officer of group engineering Abdul Rashid Musa told the Indian industry journal that the company is in the midst of undergoing a feasibility study into understanding the Indian market and building the right product for it. He adds that Proton is looking into a local partnership to either distribute or assemble its cars as an option.

“There are some specific, not trade barriers, but I would say specifications like reduction of tariffs if the car is below 4 metres in length,” Rashid said. “Market to market, there are different priorities that may or may not pose a challenge. We have a sub-4-metre car – the Iriz – but the challenge is the diesel price in India.

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“In a market which favours diesel, and the diesel price is lower than petrol, it is a challenge as we have a stronger petrol portfolio in Malaysia where diesel is used mostly for commercial vehicles.”

As a matter of fact, Rashid has alluded to a diesel-powered Iriz before – during the press drive event last October, he said that Proton was considering acquiring diesel engines from other manufacturers for export markets. If that’s the case, the company will already have an oil-burning small hatchback ready for the world’s second fastest growing automotive market.

Proton’s entry into the Indian market has been long forthcoming – it was originally aiming for a 2011 introduction and (as it is doing now) was looking to source diesel engines from other OEMs. That project, however, seems to have been put on the backburner until now.