Proton has officially launched the new Saga yesterday. No less a person than the present PM was invited to officiate the launching. I wish to congratulate Proton for the new model, though it has come a wee bit late. EEstablished car manufaturers launch theri new models normally in a much shorter time, but then we have to give a little of allowance for Proton, since it is struggling to put its act together all these years, despite the heavy subsidy from the government, meaning money which is yours and mine.
I will post some pictures taken from PaulTan.org. According to PaulTan.org, the booking is now open and the price ranges from Rm30,000 to Rm39,998.
I would not like to comment on whether it is nice looking or not , since beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
But I would like to quote a few paragraphs from my previous post on Proton:
Although I am not a shareholder of Proton, I take a keen interest in it because firstly it is a national car, and secondly it was funded and subsidised using government funds which means the people’s money, which means my money and your money!!
As loyal citizens of this country, we would like to see Proton to be at least half as successful as Toyota Vios which is manufactured in Thailand. Toyota VIOs which has targeted Asean market initially, will now be exported to the whole world as a world car – that is how successful Thai Car industry is. Even though VIOS is not a Thai Brand, it has helped uplift the whole Thai car industry, as many parts of that car are being sourced from Thai suppliers, and it has helped provide thousands of jobs to the Thai people. Then there is Honda City, which is another success story by itself.
I commented on how VW turned around SKoda:
Skoda used to the laughing stock of the world. When a few of the earlier models were brought in to Malaysia many many years back, I remember my friends telling me how poorly made the car was, and that never buy a car from east Europe. But things have certainly changed.
Skoda was bought over by VW in 1991, and is now a renowned brand with high quality products. It is selling well in European market and is now a major brand under the VW stable.
Skoda Auto was able to record net profits for the last week of 2006 totaling to 11.06 billion koruna or 392 million euros (515 million dollars). It obtained a 40% increase as compared to its earnings in the previous year.
I wrote that Proton ‘s hope may lie with a tie up with a foreign manufacturer:
As a Malaysian, I really hope that VW can help to turn around Proton and perhaps design a car that can be a world beater like the VIOS.
In this globalised world, not only technical knowhow is important to design a good and high quality car, but an efficient management is equally important. We cannot have the tidak apa attitude anymore if we want to compete against the world. Malaysian car market is too small for a car manufacturer to survive, any cars made in Malaysia must be prepared to face challenges outside , against other world brands . We must have hard working, efficient, knowledgeable people with foresight to helm this important industry in order to excel against others.
With a world brand, we can earn valuable foreign exchange (even though part of it will go to VW, we will still get a sizeable portion), and in addition, there will be spin off to encourage the growth of a whole car industry – the parts suppliers, which will become world class suppliers too.
It will also create employment and uplift our scientific research and technical knowhow in other areas.
So, we have to look further and don’t let narrow nationalism cloud our vision in the rescue of Proton.
I feel that these commentes are still valid, and we should try to turn Proton into a world beater.
For your info, I have owned a Proton Saga in the eighties and I traded it for a Wira in the early 90s, which was only sold in 2004. I am as much a nationalist as any other Malaysian. I have also defended proton and perodua in earlier articles against Jeremy Clarkson who has labelled our cars as worst car in the world.
Lets save Proton