2016 Proton Perdana 1

Witnessing the launch of the new Proton Perdana yesterday, Argentine ambassador to Malaysia Manuel Balaguer Salas said that the new flagship D-segment sedan stands a good chance of penetrating the Argentine market, according to a Bernama report.

The envoy said that while the Latin American country previously employed protectionist measures, the new government under president Mauricio Macri is slowly opening up the market after coming into power last December. “The Proton Perdana is a beautiful car, the price is good. It has a good possibility to be imported to Argentina,” Salas told the national news agency.

Salas added that Proton may be entering the Argentine market as part of its efforts to penetrate the South American market. Earlier in the month, the brand was relaunched in Chile with the official opening of a 3S showroom in Santiago and the launch of the Prevé, marking the first time Proton has offered its cars on sale in the country since the Wira was last exported there in 1998.

Proton_Perdana_24_Grey_Ext_22

Additionally, Salas agreed with Malaysian prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who said that the Perdana could mark a turning point for the national carmaker. “I think it has a strong possibility of doing that. Proton started off as a company which received a lot of protection from the government, but now they are more competitive, and less dependent on government aid,” Salas said.

Salas will have to wait a while for the Proton Perdana to be exported to Argentina, or anywhere even – Proton CEO Ahmad Fuaad Kenali confirmed yesterday that Honda has barred Proton from exporting the Perdana until at least 2018, after the company changes the engine and transmission from the current Honda-sourced 2.0 and 2.4 litre i-VTEC engines and five-speed automatic gearbox to Proton’s own units.