By Vigneswaran Chandran
News from the stables of Proton has confirmed that there would be an all-new Proton Perdana in the market in the near future to replace the current model that has been in existence for quite some time now. Considering the fact that Proton Perdana is the brand’s most exclusive model, and it serves a niche market, Proton is not prepared to spend hundreds of millions to develop a new model to replace it, instead the brand has decided to replace the Perdana with a rebadged version of a car that would be imported directly from Japan.
Proton has decided to make the car available only to governmental ministries at the start, though public sale of the vehicle is expected to follow suit shortly after, provided there is a strong demand for the vehicle from the local population based on the reaction to its launch. Sporting two engine variants, the 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter engines, the all-new Perdana will be a Japanese D-Segment car that is concurrently being sold Down Under. This announcement from
Proton came shortly after DRC-Hicom announced that it was prepared to offer the government Honda vehicles to be made official cars for ministry staff and personnel.
On the other hand, the possibility of a Proton SUV has become more a reality now that Youngman of China has appointed Proton to develop a small SUV for the company with Proton’s current platform and engine as the base for this development.
Considering that Proton was reluctant to develop its own SUV in the past due to cost restrictions, this opportunity opens the door to the possibility of witnessing the emergence of Proton in the SUV market, as Youngman would initially fund the project. Once the project is completed, Proton is planning to probably purchase the design from Youngman, and utilize it for Proton’s very own SUV in the near future!
For the record, the SUV that is to be developed would be mini-sized (somewhere along the lines of the Peugeot 3008), and would be more for touring and driving around the town rather than a hardcore jungle-trekking vehicle. Considering that there is a huge demand for mini-SUVs, both in the local and overseas market (especially in the Middle East), Proton would undoubtedly be creating a winner here if the design and implementation of the project are accomplished successfully.
With the upcoming new Perdana and outstanding new SUV, Proton’s definitely going places! All the best to our very-first national carmaker to make it big both locally and globally!