Wednesday, August 15, 2007

MORE PICS & Video Clip – 1.6 litre Proton Persona Launched –15-Aug-07; Proton Wira replacement; Price Ranges: RM44,999 to RM55,800 in Six Colours

MORE PICS & Video Clip1.6 litre Proton Persona Launch –15-Aug-07; Proton Wira replacement; Price Ranges: RM44,999 to RM55,800 in Six Colours

ABOVE & BELOW: Malaysiakini latest report ( H E R E) has former Proton CEO Mahalee Ariff fuming over the sale of MV Augutus for RM5 when BMW paid RM420 M for one of its brand Husqvarna

Proton will have to sell thousands more cars to recover this stupid sale

= = == = =Launch of Proton Persona....

ABOVE: The Proton models with the New Proton Persona

Proton Hopes New Car Lifts Sales; Wednesday August 15, 6:39 am ET

Malaysia's Proton Pins Hopes on New Car to Lift Sales, Return to Profit

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: Malaysia's money-losing car maker Proton launched a new stylish sedan Wednesday that it hopes will lift its sagging sales and return the company to profit. The new Pesona model, together with Proton's new ventures in China, will "mark the emergence of Proton from its low ebb," Managing Director Syed Zainal Abidin said in a company statement. Proton has been losing money and market share in Malaysia, Southeast Asia's biggest passenger car market. Its domestic market share has plunged to around 23 percent from 60 percent in 2002 amid stiff competition from both domestic and foreign rivals. Syed Zainal was quoted by national news agency Bernama as saying that Proton hopes to export the new car to Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Britain and Australia to reap economies of scale. Proton "cannot concentrate on the domestic market alone as it is getting smaller and smaller. That's why export is going to be the approach," he was quoted as saying. Some analysts, however, are not convinced the Pesona can greatly boost Proton's fortunes. "The sales target for the new sedan is achievable but it would be at the expense of Proton's other models," said Kenny Yee, research chief at local brokerage OSK Securities."Net-net, Proton's car sales for the full year is likely to be flat," he said.

ABOVE & BELOW: The showroom models

State-owned Proton aims to sell 30,000-40,000 units of the 1.6 liter Proton Pesona within the first year of launch, Chairman Azlan Hashim told reporters. Proton said in its statement it could sell up to 48,000 units of the car during the first 12 months. Available in auto and manual versions, the car is competitively priced between 44,999 ringgit (US$12,857; €9,460) and 55,800 ringgit (US$15,943; €11,730), officials said.

The company, which is 43 percent-owned by state investment arm Khazanah Nasional, reported a loss of 591.4 million ringgit (US$169 million; €124 million) for the year ended March 31, 2007 but expects to be profitable in the new financial year. Last month, Proton said it would sell at least 30,000 cars to Chinese firm Youngman Automobile Manufacturing Co., marking its first foray into China. The car maker is also still in talks with Germany's Volkswagen AG on a possible alliance, with a final decision expected to be made by the end of the year, officials have said. The entry of a foreign partner is crucial to help consolidate and strengthen its business, Proton has said.

ABOVE & BELOW: The front & back views of the launch model

Proton has pledged to cut costs, boost exports and introduce new models to prop up sales. Besides the new Persona sedan, Proton plans to release other models including a multipurpose vehicle in 2009, officials said. Proton thrived for years in a protected environment in which high duties were imposed on imported vehicles, forcing many Malaysians to buy Proton cars. But duties have been slowly lowered in line with a regional trade pact, and more Malaysians are buying imported cars.

ABOVE: The standard sports rim and BELOW: The rear interior

= == == == = == == = BELOW: The back interior

August 15, 2007 17:56 PM

Azlan Sees Bright Future For Proton With Persona Launch

SHAH ALAM, Aug 15 (Bernama) -- Proton Holdings Bhd chairman (ABOVE) Datuk Mohammed Azlan Hashim said the future of the national car maker looks bright as it has taken steps to embrace change to remain competitive in a rapidly changing market environment. "The future certainly looks bright for Proton," he said at the launch of the Proton Wira replacement model, the 1.6 litre Persona here. The Persona, he said, is testimony to the investments made in the technology facilities and the people, and with its launch, Malaysians from all walk of life have another reason to be proud of the nation's achievements. "Everyone at Proton, from management to factory floor employees, are working closely together and with the continuous support from the vendors community and dealers, we will together see Proton (moving) to a new height," he added.

The four door sedan, Proton's fifth model, was launched by the Yang diPertuan Agong (ABOVE, at the wheel) Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin. Tuanku Mizan was accompanied by Raja Permaisuri Agong (ABOVE) Tuanku Nur Zahirah at the event. Available in both manual and auto versions, the Persona is considered the most competitively priced 1,600cc car as its indicative price ranges from RM44,999 to RM55,800. Looking forward, Mohammed Azlan said Proton has a lot more to do and a lot more to learn while at the same time needs to improve its products and services as well as itself as a corporate entity.

ABOVE : The front panel and BELOW: The steering wheel compartment

Touching on product development, he said Proton itself has high expectations for the Persona and is hoping that the new sedan will serve as the benchmark for its other new models. The new car was designed and developed based on the targeted customers' inputs and requirements, which he said is a new management approach to develop new Proton models. And he promised more new models in the next 12 months. "From this we can and should be able to judge better Proton's resilience and ability to compete and prosper going forward from this new model onwards," he added.

ABOVE & BELOW: The well tested Campro engine

Pre-launch, Proton had received in excess of 2,200 bookings for Persona from customers.
This has given Mohammed Azlan reason to be optimistic that the model will meet the sales target of between 30,000 and 40,000 units within the next 12 months.

"Insya Allah, this new car will put Proton quickly back on the road to regain its premium position," he said. Mohammed Azlan also said that over the years Proton had invested over RM6 billion in research and development as well as technically advanced and modern facilities, which now include the Virtual Reality Centre. "This sophisticated centre is the first of its kind in an automotive manufacturing plant in Malaysia and was launched earlier today by the Yang diPertuan Agong," he said. Mohammed Azlan also disclosed that Proton has embarked on a joint effort with the Ministry of Higher Education to provide internship programmes particularly for community college students who are majoring in automotive engineering at Proton Service Centres nationwide.
= == = = == =


This latest addition to the PROTON family is the fifth model fully built by PROTON after the introduction of the Waja in 2000, the Gen.2 in 2004, the Savvy in 2005 and the Satria Neo in 2006. Developed with the PROTON i-CARE commitment to improve every quality aspect - from design, styling and production to sales and after-sales, the Persona is a PROTON re-defined.As per its namesake, this newborn in the PROTON stable is an impression of beauty with advanced styling, generous interior and luggage space, practical with safe attributes and value for money proposition.

Bookings exceeding 2,200 units have been received for the PROTON Persona, even before it was officially unveiled by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, with 350 cars already registered and delivered to customers nationwide upon launching. Chairman of PROTON Holdings Berhad, Dato’ Mohammed Azlan Hashim, said the fact that the bookings were made before the unveiling of the actual car is testimony of the public’s belief and confidence in PROTON. “It is an endorsement of You Can Count On Us promise that we made with the launching of the PROTON i-CARE, which is a commitment to quality made by all PROTON citizens” he added. “We are extremely proud of this new product as it was built in accordance with PROTON’s new philosophy of producing the right car for the right market at the right price,” he further explained.

Dato’ Mohammed Azlan went on to say that,” PROTON has taken stringent measures from all aspects man, machine, management and also encompassing our business associates, the vendors and dealers, to ensure that this model and all upcoming models consistently meet the quality expectations of the public. PROTON, buoyed by the encouraging initial response, is targeting sales of 4,000 units per month.

The Persona is available in five variants - the 1.6 base-line automatic and manual; 1.6 medium-line, automatic and manual; and 1.6 high-line automatic only. The model currently comes in six colours; Blueberry tea, Light gold, Tranquillity black, Metal grey and Solid red. The seventh colour, Solid white, will be made available from September onwards.

The national car manufacturer’s latest offering is the most competitively-priced model in the 1,600 cc category, with the price ranging from RM44,999 to RM55,800

Managing Director,(ABOVE) Dato’ Haji Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir expressed optimism that the Persona will be a car that excites, with its stylish yet practical exterior and interior. Its aerodynamic and advanced styling enhanced by the elegant face design with exquisite front grille as well as stylish rear end and tail design is bound to turn heads on the road. The dark grey interior for practicality, chrome finishing for exquisite appearance, and meter combination with built-in clock for functionality together with the roominess of cabin space will warm the hearts of motorists and passengers. Powered by the improved 1.6 Campro engine, the Persona holds promise of smooth drivability and ride comfort. It also boasts of fuel economy that is very competitive in the 1,600cc segment. “It will be the car that makes the difference,” added Syed Zainal, who is also optimistic that the launch of PROTON Persona together with several recent developments of tie-ups in international markets will mark the emergence of PROTON from its low ebb. Just last month, PROTON announced its landmark deal with Youngman Automobile Group of China which has been billed as a development that will jumpstart PROTON’s turnaround. This was followed by the introduction of Waja and Neo in Indonesia, another big market for Proton. The addition of these two models is a quick follow-up on the successes PROTON have had with Gen.2 and Savvy in the Indonesian market. PROTON also posted the greatest improvement in customer satisfaction from the recent survey conducted by JD Power, which reiterates and underscores PROTON’s commitment to quality.

= = == = == = =
Now for prices:
Proton Persona 1.6AT H-Line MetallicRM55,800
Proton Persona 1.6AT M-Line Metallic – RM52,800
Proton Persona 1.6MT M-Line Metallic – RM49,800
Proton Persona 1.6AT B-Line Metallic – RM48,449
Proton Persona 1.6AT B-Line Solid – RM47,999
Proton Persona 1.6MT B-Line Metallic – RM45,449
Proton Persona 1.6MT B-Line SolidRM44,999

= = ==
East Malaysia

Base Line 1.6MT manual - RM47,559.10 (solid), RM48,009.10 (metallic)
Base Line 1.6AT auto - RM50,542 (solid), RM50,992 (metallic)
Medium Line 1.6MT manual - RM52,331.60 (metallic)
Medium Line 1.6AT auto - RM55,314.50 (metallic)
High Line 1.6AT auto - RM57,241.10 (metallic)

ABOVE & BELOW: The two demo cars that demo the car maneuverability and handling at the test circuit
All prices are on the road with insurance for Peninsular Malaysia. The prices have changed slightly since the teaser prices were announced last month – the Base-Line models are now slightly cheaper. While it won’t really reflect much in your monthly instalment amount, breaching the RM45,000 barrier by RM1 ringgit serves as a psychological encouragement to buy the car. Proton has negotiated with all banks for them to offer an interest rate of 3.88% for the Proton Persona.
(M) - Metallic Paint, (S) - Solid Paint
Model range:
BL - 4 power windows, CD player and basic features.
ML - all BL features with additional alloy rims, foldable rear seats, MP3 player and electric door mirror.
HL - all ML features with additional dual airbags, ABS, EBD and standard Captor alarm

BL - Base Line, ML - Middel Line, HL - High Line

= = == =Watch the Video Clip 1min 36 sec - Proton Persona Launch - 15 Aug 07

= = == = == =

UPDATE:August 23, 2007 17:11 PM
Proton, VW Expected To Wrap Up Talks By Year-End

CYBERJAYA, Aug 23 (Bernama) -- The government hopes that the talks between national carmaker Proton Holdings Bhd and Germany's Volkswagen AG (VW) for a possible strategic tie-up will be completed by year-end.

Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop (ABOVE) said so far nothing has changed (yet). "(But) the good news is we are still talking. Things are happening. Discussions are on-going (and) hopefully we will resolved it soon," he told reporters after witnessing the signing ceremony between Inland Revenue Board and Tujuan Gemilang Sdn Bhd for the purchase of a building (Menara C, PJ Trade Centre) here today.

Asked whether it could be resolved by year-end, he said "that is a reasonable target." The government is trying its best to fast-track the talks to find a strategic partner for Proton after it failed to meet the March deadline. Proton has already had two rounds of discussions with VW in New York and Bangkok. The government's investment arm, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, owns 43 percent interest in Proton. Recently, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah was quoted as saying VW was conducting due diligence on Proton as part of the negotiations. He had said it was important for Proton to be "comfortable" with its potential partner. "As soon as that (due diligence) is confirmed, then I believe we must tie up the deal as quickly as possible," he was quoted as saying.

The national carmaker recently unveiled its new Persona sedan, expecting the competitively-priced 1.6-litre model to jump-start its plan to regain the leading position in Malaysia's automotive market. It expects monthly sales of more than 4,000 units. There are also plans to export the car to Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, the United Kingdom and Australia.

UPDATE: Aug 23 2007


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did i hear RM6 billion on research?????? by adding a boot on their gem hahaha

8:46 AM  
Blogger Dota Pawner said...

Nothing new , just making the GEN2 boot larger then they consider as new car ? I'm pretty sure the quality still the same....after 2 months sure will have the problems..

10:00 AM  
Anonymous DinkXu said...

"Did i hear RM6 billion on research?????? by adding a boot on their gem hahaha"

R u retard!? go do some homework before spit ur rant out ur rat's azz....what a moron who does not know what he's been bashing a factual knowledgeable basher la....baka!....Twisted sick prick!

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Nurdin A said...

I'm a proud owner of persona 1.6AT of 2mths. I would say the design is good, both exterior & interior. but the pick up is questionable as it takes longer time to excellerate when changing lanes. What can I do, to improve this any suggestion? other than changing the air filter, spark plugs and adding voltage stabilser...

11:20 AM  

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