Malaysian carmaker Proton Cars has revealed it plans to sell Australia’s cheapest car from early next year as part of a renewed assault on the Australian car market.
Currently the cheapest RRP for a car in Australia is tied between the Proton Savvy and the Hyundai Getz, both on $13,990.
Proton Managing Director John Startari has said that as part of a revitalised assault on the Australian car market the company will launch Australia’s lowest priced sedan, which it believes will be the perfect answer to the current financial climate.
The car, final pricing of which has not yet been revealed, will go on sale in early 2010.
At the same time Proton has said it 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.
Mr Startari, admits that the brand 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 Mr 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, through the Persona, 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.
“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 brand has been established here for 14 years and it’s now time to take the brand to a higher level,” Mr Startari concluded.