Proton B-Segment Hatchback By 2014

By Hans | June 26, 2013
Proton B-Segment Hatchback By 2014

Proton is expected to introduce a small hatchback in early 2014. Two weeks ago, we reported that Tier-1 automotive parts supplier Bosch will be supplying headlamps to a new Proton model in 2014.

A report by Bernama quoted Proton Holdings' executive chairman Tan Sri Mohd Khamil Jamil saying that the new model is likely to be assembled at Proton's Tanjung Malim plant.

"This car will be the starting point for a fresh range of cars by Proton. In this regard, we are looking at all segments of car production.

"We have to rationalise the utilisation of our plants before announcing where the all new model would be assembled. But, as we have announced before, I think the new models would be assembled at the Tanjung Malim plant," Khamil added.

Speaking to Bernama at the opening of Proton's "Nama Siapa Hebat" contest yesterday, Khamil also said "We intend and are sure of making a come back to the number one slot within the next two years." Proton currently trails behind Perodua in total vehicle sales.

In 2012, Perodua sold 189,000 vehicles, followed by Proton at 141,121.

Proton's "Nama Siapa Hebat"  content is open to all Malaysians to contribute a name for the national car maker's upcoming, all-new small car.

Although Bernama's report refers to the all new model as a compact car, the model should not be confused with Proton's upcoming compact (C-segment) Preve hatchback.

The model referred to here is most likely Perodua Myvi-sized, all-new small car (B-segment). In some sense, it is a spiritual successor to the discontinued 1.2-litre 2012 Proton Savvy, which if it's selling today would straddle a 1.0-litre 2013 Perodua Viva and 1.3-litre 2013 Perodua Myvi.

The image shown above is the 2010 Geneva Motor Show Proton Emas Concept. The concept car was designed by Italdesign Giugiaro but don't expect the final production car to look anything like this. Rumour has it that Proton is no longer working with the design studio on this project.

As someone who appreciates cars not just for their horsepower value but also for their cultural significance, he is interested in the art of manufacturing and selling cars just as much as driving them. Prior to swapping spreadsheets for a wordprocessor, he spent his previous life in product planning and market research.

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