Saga and Persona
Proton which has been mulling its foray into India will launch the Saga and Persona soon in the market. Proton’s Indian entry is a follow-up after the recent success it made in Iran, China, Indonesia and Thailand. ” Proton plans to finalise its export strategy to India in the first half of this year” said Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir Managind Director,Proton. He added the strategy would be similar to the one in China where Proton worked with local partners to set up manufacturing and distribution facilities for Proton cars.“We are looking for partners with experience in the manufacture and distribution of vehicles, besides having car design capabilities and localisation,” he told. Syed Zainal added that Proton was looking for parties in the auto industry in India that would complement it. “The parties involved would get our products to use, sell and fill up capacity,” he said, adding that the Indian market was expanding due to a big boost in demand for cars. We earlier reported you that India’s ICML (maker of Rhino MUV) is in talks with Proton. In 2009, you may come across saga with ICML badge.
Proton’s 2nd coming:
Proton has been building cars since the 1980s, and sold about 150,000 in 2005 before experiencing a slump in 2006. Most of its sales are domestic although it also exports to countries mostly in the Middle East and Asia. The state-owned (Malyasia) carmaker has been in talks with Germany’s Volkswagen AG and General Motors Corp. of the U.S. about a possible alliance to turn around its fortunes..Proton has a capacity to make 3,00,000 cars with an additional 40,000 units capacity at its Indonesian plant. It exported 28,000 units to the Middle-East, UK, South Africa, Australia and the ASEAN bloc. Proton already has a presence in India through its subsidiary, the UK-based Lotus Engineering, which operates a designing centre at Bangalore. In 1999 Proton announced that it will set up a wholly-owned subsidiary in India to sell its cars. Proton and Hindustan Motors of India also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for assembling Proton cars in Chennai. But the deal never fruitified.
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