Proton, Malaysia’s national carmaker, has launched a new sedan hoping it will bring up the faded brand and rise sales overseas.
On Monday, April 30th, Proton launched the 1.6-litre Preve as a “global car” that will boost exports with its modern design, attractive price and advanced technology. The company declared that the Preve is its first car with a turbocharged engine that offers power and torque similar to that of a 2-liter car and that the price will be between 59,990 ringgit ($19,600) and 72,990 ringgit ($23,830). Proton hopes to sell 4,000 units per month and export the model in Indonesia and Thailand in about three months, followed by China, Iran and Australia. Later this year the company will also launch a sporty hatchback version.
Although the model has an attractive price and a modern design, analysts said Proton would face a tough fight especially with the Japanese carmakers which plan aggressive new launches to recover from last year’s tsunami and earthquake.
“Consumers will have many other choices. It won’t be easy for Proton to compete with other players which are more prominent,” said Law Mei Chi, analyst with Kenanga Research.