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Proton Cars has announced a revitalised assault on the Australian car market and has signalled it will launch Australia's lowest priced sedan, which it believes will be the perfect answer to the current financial climate.
In early 2010 Proton will launch Australia's lowest price sedan and is redoubling its efforts to rebuild and refresh its dealer network across the country.
The company has severed ties with almost half its existing dealers and is now recruiting new high calibre dealers to broaden the reach and service levels for Proton customers.
Managing director of Proton Cars Australia, John Startari, admits that the marque has not performed to expectations, however the resources and backing have now been committed by parent company Proton Cars Berhad to drive the brand forward in Australia.
"The centre piece of our plan is to recruit the best dealer network available, we are not going to expand at all cost, it will be a matter of only signing dealers who are committed and eager to be a part of growing the brand," said John Startari.
"Product, pricing and marketing support have received major boosts to ensure that we have the tools to take Proton to the market," he said.
"Australia's lowest cost sedan will be the cornerstone of our range and Proton will present a value for money proposition from the entry level model to the sporty Satria.
"We will launch a revitalised range with the low cost sedan at a price and specification level that will make it hard to ignore in the market."
"It will be significantly different to the current Savvy, it is the same car that was launched in Malaysia recently as the Saga, it is a sedan and is powered by a 1.6 litre Campro engine in place of the 1.2 litre engine in the current Savvy," he added.
The company will not announce the pricing or the name of the new car until the launch, however Mr Startari says its price, equipment levels and overall value for money will make it a contender in the small/light car class.
Mr Startari said that Proton is here to stay and has a solid base on which it can build its future expansion.
"Proton Cars has an established infrastructure in Australia which we have refined and tuned over the past ten years, we have low overheads and a small but highly skilled workforce factors that will help drive the brand forward," he said.
"We have already recruited a number of new dealers and they have told us that many have 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.
"Lotus handling and engineering, high levels of safety and equipment as well as the fact that Proton has stuck it out in this country are advantages that our new dealers have told us gave the brand appeal," he said.
"There is a car park of around 25,000 Protons on Australian roads, the marque has been established here for 14 years and it's now time to 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.
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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