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An Early Arrival and New Lower cost Models to Spearhead Revitalised Proton Line-Up - (Australia)

August 6th, 2009
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Proton Cars will now launch Australia's lowest priced sedan in October this year along with new lower cost entry variants across its entire passenger car range.

The new low-cost sedan was originally slated for early 2010 but will now be brought to market four months early as part of a cost efficiency onslaught from the Malaysian car maker.

The new car, based on the Malaysian Saga sedan, will have an all new name for the Australian market and will join low cost variants across all Proton passenger car models with new specifications and ultra competitive pricing, as the company continues to restructure its Australian operations.

Proton's value-leading sedan will come to market with a sub-$13,000 price tag and will spearhead a range boasting extreme value for money.

It will be launched initially with Proton's 1.6 litre Campro engine and five speed manual as standard with an automatic and a smaller engine option to be available from February 2010.

Proton will add to its Satria Neo, Gen2 and Persona models with lower cost entry level models featuring new specifications in an effort to attract more buyers to the company's value for money proposition.

The new lower cost Proton models will be introduced during November 2009 and will position Proton as an economy leader in the new car market which, along with its focus on rebuilding and refreshing its dealer network, will equip it for strong growth in 2010.

Proton is continuing its recruitment of high calibre dealers to broaden the reach and service levels for customers after it severed ties with almost half its existing dealers earlier this year.

Managing director of Proton Cars Australia John Startari says a combination of new specifications, improved manufacturing efficiencies and a stronger Australian dollar has allowed the company to formulate a lower pricing structure across its model range.

"Along with our new price leading sedan, economy car buyers will be able to take advantage of Proton's trademark Lotus engineered handling as well as our acknowledged reliability along with lower prices right across the range," said John Startari.

"Our plan is to champion the value proposition without sacrificing safety, quality and reliability and that has been particularly attractive to the new dealers who we have been recruiting," he said.

"Clearly there will be new low cost brands entering the market in the coming months, however Proton's strength is that it has been in this market for close to 15 years and is a factory owned operation with the full backing of our parent company in Malaysia.

"Product, pricing and marketing support have received major boosts from our parent company to ensure that we have the tools to expand our market share in this country.

"With a lower cost sporty Satria Neo, Gen2 and Persona as well as the entry level sedan, Proton will have a very structured range of cars with more variants covering the market from sub $13,000 to a shade over $20,000."

Mr Startari reiterated the message that Proton is here to stay and has a solid base on which to build its future expansion.

"Proton has already recruited a number of new dealers and they have told us that they had considered taking on other low cost brands but did not want to take the risk with brands that do not have an established record in Australia," he added.

"There are more than 25,000 Protons on Australian roads and we believe we can now take the brand to a higher level," Mr Startari concluded.

Proton was established in 1983, and is Malaysia's largest manufacturer of automobiles. With operations in key markets including the UK, Western Europe, the Middle East and across South-East Asia and Australasia, Proton produces a range of cars from versatile and reliable four-door family sedans to sporty three-door hatchbacks and utilities, and is also the parent company of world-renowned sports car maker, Lotus.

The Proton brand is accelerating its learning curve through technology transfer with strategic partnerships and technical collaborations. 

Proton's promise is to be a marque which builds cars with passion and soul which are a delight to drive and a pleasure to own.

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