The company introduced the current model Jumbuck as a low cost half tonne pick up in early 2003 based on the previous model Persona sedan, a car which utilised superseded Mitsubishi design and technology.
The Jumbuck is the last of the Proton models on sale in Australia that still utilises the outdated Mitsubishi design and technology.
Proton is in the process of developing a new model Jumbuck, targeted at the current market leaders which will take advantage of the latest technology in terms of safety, structural integrity and powertrain and will be a Proton-developed model, sharing a platform with an existing passenger car model.
Proton Australia will also launch additional models within the next 12 months to compliment the range such as the new low cost sedan late in 2009, followed by the new entry level Persona, Satria Neo & Gen.2. These models will be followed by the release of the Satria Neo CPS, Exora MPV seven-seater and Satria Neo R3 in 2010.
In keeping with the current Jumbuck philosophy, it will be a cost effective, economical and simple pick up with the possibility of a number of different configurations for commercial or personal use.
According to Proton Cars Australia managing director, Mr John Startari, the new generation Jumbuck will benefit from the latest technology and will not be constrained by the limitations of what is now an old platform in the existing model.
"The current Jumbuck has been great but it is in the final phase of its life and a new model is well overdue, it has been a great ute but there will be a new generation model to replace it," said Mr Startari.
"It has been an important model for us here in Australia providing the market with a unique blend of passenger car based design, half tonne capacity and low cost entry and running costs.
"Proton is mindful of safety and that is why we are moving to bring a new safer, more modern Jumbuck to market as soon as possible.
"Like all Proton models the new Jumbuck will retain a value for money purchase price that will ensure it retains its status as the lowest cost commercial vehicle to own and run in this country.
"The important point will be that the new car will not only be the lowest cost commercial but also amongst the safest on the road".
While details of the new Proton Jumbuck are still yet to be announced the car will still be powered by a small economical four cylinder engine but will have the benefit of both a manual and an automatic transmission option.
Along with this there will be increased levels of safety including multiple SRS airbags, ABS anti lock brakes, Lotus tuned ride and handling and the latest crash protection technology in terms of progressive deformation crumple zones and integrated passenger cell design.