Published on March 26th, 2020 | by Subhash Nair0
Geely Boyue Pro Previewed as the ‘Azkarra’ in Philippines
Geely have just previewed the ‘Azkarra’ in the Philippines. It is essentially a Geely Boyue Pro with a new 48V hybrid e-AWD powertrain in addition to the 1.5-litre 3-cylinder turbo engine. What’s strange is this: Geely is Proton’s foreign strategic partner, but it won’t help bring the Boyue Pro to market in Malaysia in any shape or form.
The Philippines, on the other hand, gets not only the Boyue Pro, but a version of the Boyue Pro that hasn’t even debuted in China! What we’re left with is a facelift of the Boyue in the form of the CKD X70. Perhaps because at its current pricing, even this standard Proton X70 has a massive price advantage over any of its competitors. Geely and Proton can continue at their own pace with the introduction of newer, better cars in the Malaysian market.
What’s even stranger is this. The X70 with its 1.8-litre turbocharged engine is labelled an Energy Efficient Vehicle or ‘EEV’ by MARii and gets better pricing through customised incentives. If THAT powertrain is good enough to be ‘EEV’ status, then there’s really no need for Geely or Proton to ever consider bringing in the 1.5-litre 3-cylinder, let alone this hybridised version of that powertrain.
What we’re seeing is a problem on both the public sector and private sector. The public sector, consisting of MARii as the gatekeepers to MITI, are not prepared to flesh out a real automotive policy. The private sector, including PROTON, are happy with a vague document as it means they can be less proactive with high tech, high cost products and instead have closed door discussions with MARii.
Who benefits? The customers in the Philippines, for one. Their Geely SUV is better in every way than ours.
This isn’t the first time the Philippines has leapfrogged Malaysia with nicer Geely products. We’ve been seeing test mules of the so called ‘X50’ being driven around for well over a year now. Meanwhile the Philippines took the lead and got themselves the Geely ‘Coolray’, which is essentially based on the Geely Binyue just as the X50 is.