Published on January 14th, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
PROTON and Suzuki’s Plans for 2016: What’s New and What to Expect
PROTON and Suzuki Malaysia are entering a new phase of their game plan. Starting today, all twenty five 3S and four 4S Suzuki dealerships nationwide will fly the PROTON flag, selling the national car company’s product while still providing aftersales support to existing Suzuki owners. With 29 new fully-equipped and professionally staffed PROTON Edar outlets, the two companies are set for the final stage of their strategy.
Speaking to us at the signing ceremony for new dealers, PROTON’s CEO Dato’ Abdul Harith Abdullah announced several major developments for PROTON and Suzuki Malysia Automobile Sdn Bhd. The latter would commence winding-up soon, transferring many of its assets, networks and even key technology to PROTON. Dato’ Harith explained that 4 new models would roll out by the end of 2016 – 3 of which would be based on Suzuki platforms and technology.
We know that one of those four will be the new Perdana which is based on the 8th gen Accord. The other 3 will be announced in the coming months with a new launch expected every quarter of 2016. Present at the event was none other than PROTON Chairman, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He explained that PROTON’s new cars would all bear familiar names – think Wira, Waja, Persona, Saga and the like.
While we’re optimistic for a replacement Satria or Putra, the reality is that PROTON would tend to focus more on a vehicle with mass-market appeal. More likely than not, an Arena pick-up or SUV based on the Jimny or Grand Vitara has been in the works. But then again, nothing reminds us more of PROTON’s glory days than a lightweight 2-door and maybe that’s what the company needs to improve its image.