New Proton model to replace Saga

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 According to, 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.

Related posts:
Lets save Proton

New Proton model to replace Wira

Proton Car dealers losing money

Jeremy test drives Perodua

Proton should emulate Skoda the ugly duckling


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. daffodils
    Jan 20, 2008 @ 00:33:51

    I saw so many Toyota Vios on the roads while in Bangkok. Even the colourful taxis were all Toyotas.

    Through exports, the automotive industry generates revenue and national wealth for Thailand.

    What makes their industry tick, I guess Malaysia has to reflect on what is lacking and needs to be done to prop up an ailing industry.

    Exactly we have to look further. The Thai automotive industry has not developed solely on its own initiative. The industry is a collaborative effort between large Japanese automobile manufacturers and their Thai partners.


  2. monsterball
    Jan 20, 2008 @ 21:27:48

    Yes Doc…I am happy a new low cost up-to-date model for the majority middle class and possible..poor Malaysians to own one .
    What a great timing to release it near election time!!
    And on VW…leave it to UMNO to think for the country.
    All they care is always giving terms and conditions to giant guys like VW…dressed up with so much restrictions and clouded to favor one Malaysian race…..and if..agreeable…then partnership can be possible.
    VW or any other reputable automobile manufacturers will tell UMNO…can go to hell.
    Again we see a new car ……very reasonable priced…so tempting for others to buy..thus the first 5000..all booked and sold.
    Have we not heard this over and over again?
    In the end…have ever seen any government owned companies…control by UMNO…..really make money and gone International?
    Except Petronas….which one?…and I have heard so much on Proton….I will say…….good news for the middle class and poor….but don’t let that be the guiding light to your wise votes…..come election time.


  3. hsudarren
    Jan 20, 2008 @ 23:25:08

    daffodils, even the new Toyota Camry which has become very popular in Malaysia is made in Thailand.

    I went to Phuket recently with my family and the Taxis there are also mainly Vios and airport Taxis mainly Camry.

    Their car industry has earned a lot of precious foreign exchange for their country whereas we are still subsidising our Proton.

    Perodua, which has been sold to Daihatsu of Toyota, is now producing a very good car in MYVI.


  4. Jeff
    Jan 21, 2008 @ 00:40:10

    Before we can compete in world market, we have to be able to stand up to foreign car competition imported into Malaysia, but with all these AP issues, show that the proton is just low quality and need special treatment, how in the world we can progress with so many un-ethnically managers running the company at our expense, who in the right mind will want to pay such a high price for a low quality product where japanese made car is available?


  5. monsterball
    Jan 21, 2008 @ 22:07:23

    Malaysia competing in world market on cars???…Dream on!!
    How to compete..when they choose only one race..their own….instead based on real qualifications with no race discriminations..then down to every Dept…..also race discriminations…how to work properly?
    Is not Straits Times …a classic example?
    Then they go out an buy a design….produce it….sell well for two or three years….relax..enjoy….then apply their own… so call smart designs….come out with a car like GEN2…Mahathir tested and of the lot….now is known as an idiotic car…simply because it is too low. They had the same problem with Iswara….yet they never learn.
    Leave everything to the Government….they will F…up every company…and when making money …will sell it to their own relatives or cronies….no more a government owned company…..and if F… up again..use EPF money to bail out the cronies.
    That’s how UMNO works..and you say they can compete in world market on cars?
    I think they are competing in world reputation to be the biggest corrupted country in the world. That they may achieve successfully.


  6. jeff
    Jan 22, 2008 @ 01:04:39

    monsterball, totally agree with your point. Umno already make Malaysia quite well known in world stage by their corrupt mind n practices, unfortunately, the world community think all Malaysians are corrupt too.


  7. Steve
    Jan 23, 2008 @ 03:39:52

    TDM is a typical example of a very corrupt umno-putra figure..own big private jet, oversea massion, big numbers of corporate equity, who know what else, when majority of Malaysians are living below poverty line, struggle to make a living just to pay tax.


  8. jeff
    Jan 24, 2008 @ 05:25:10

    monsterball – the whole purpose of AP is to make imported car expensive for average malaysians , so in order to buy a car for transportation, you will have no choice except to buy from proton, so only one race profit namely umno-putra,mca n mic. It is total disregard of free market economic policy to further enrich the powerful and the rich.


  9. monsterball
    Jan 26, 2008 @ 06:59:33

    What has that to do with the post on exporting cars?


  10. Kamban
    Jan 27, 2008 @ 16:04:23

    National car concept was actually misused by TDM. For any industry quality and productivity are the key factors for success . But they let go quality , but still forced people to buy by imposing very high tax on non-national cars .
    A consultant told me this , a true story :

    the consultant was invited by the local car maker to study to reduce manufacturing cost . He made many suggestions , and one key cost reduction he found was the metal sheet which purchased at extra-ordinary price from a particular vendor . The vendor came down , driving Merc M-class , and talked to him arrogantly like a gangster . This suggestion was dismissed due to political influence . So , basically they are exploiting the automobile industry to be incompetence just for the sake of one particular political team (which we know who). I always advise my friends , if you have good cash flow don’t buy local car ! But it doesn’t mean we are not patriotic . Why should we support political mismanagement ?


  11. jeff
    Jan 29, 2008 @ 06:31:37

    Every ordinary Malaysian is basically patriotic since they make so much noises when they see thing go wrong in Malaysia, not because one is buying a foreign or domestic car, it is a matter of choice, accessibility, personal wealth and personal taste.


  12. alaska - autoincar
    Aug 18, 2008 @ 13:22:29

    I wish affordable cost for new SAGA.I will compare to 2008 Honda city are spotted in thailand


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