Just recently, Proton just announced their 1st quarter profit for fiscal year 2011, ending in June 30 2011. It is however not so pleasant news as Proton just made a mere RM4.55 million (approx more than USD1.5 million) profit, a sharp 94% drop compared to the same quarter a year ago. In their statement, this is caused by higher expenses by Group Lotus to rebuilding and restructure the entire company, which includes appointing new dealerships in China and Asia Paciffic, finalizing their newly developed V8 engines for new Lotus cars, upgrading the test track facilities in Hethel with Formula One grade test track, and a new online merchandising store.
While its still not pleasant to see Group Lotus bleeding money from parent company Proton, however we found an annual report for Proton in 2011 from an undisclosed source. Hence the following below is what we discovered for Proton plans beyond 2011.
Let see what up for Proton for 2011 and beyond!
1. The new Exora Turbo
“In November 2011, the new Exora Turbo will be produced. The new engine that is being developed by both PROTON and Lotus Engineers, comes with a powerful 138bhp to a maximum of 151bhp. The exterior will also be improved with sport rims, smoke lenses, rear combi lamp, chrome front radiator grille with black ribs and deep titanium finishing lamp. The stylish body kit, sporty alloy rims and the new interior look of tempest gray are designed to attract younger drivers who appreciate aesthetic touches.” – This is a confirmation that the new highly anticipated Exora Turbo will be out by November 2011. Two different engine horse powers may indicate two or more different variants will be introduced in the Exora. No indication on pricing but hopefully it will be not more than RM90,000.
The Proton Exora turbo prototype signed in Malaysian highways
2. Proton and Lotus’s new Global Small Car
“Our Global Small Car programme is also progressing according to schedule and barring any unforeseen circumstances, 2013 will be another defining year for PROTON as we venture further into the global arena. Based on the EMAS (Eco-Mobility Advanced Solution), the Global Small Car promises to be an exciting product proposition not only for PROTON but for Lotus as well, and this would be the first time such an arrangement is entered into by both companies.” – The EMAS, aka the Lotus City Car and just named as the Ethos, will be the direct competitor to the Aston Martin’s own city car, the Cygnet. While Lotus produces the more premium version of the City Car, Proton will produce a more mass produced and cheaper version for the Asian and presumably UK and Australian markets as well, though the most likely we can see this car is by 2013.
The Proton EMAS will be Proton and Lotus’s Global small car
3. Stronger body for Proton cars
“For example, 14 parts of the body in white are composed of a very hard metal derived through a process called Hot Press Forming (HPF). This new high technology process is a first in Malaysia and South East Asia. With this process, the parts can withstand a force of 1,500 mega Pascal. Hence with the addition of these parts, it is possible for PROTON to have a five star ncap rating car. Another new production technology is the rolled hemming process. By this process each area can be finely tuned to give optimum pressure and hence higher quality. These production technologies are a cost reduced investment and are expected in the future, to reap benefits for PROTON and decrease costs further.” – With these new HPF, perhaps the myth of “Milo tin” cars in Proton may no longer be valid!
Will this be a myth for Proton future models?
4. Proton Persona R – P3-21A
“Lastly, we will introduce our first locally produced global car to be manufactured at the Tanjung Malim plant. The new car is now being tested for production optimization and production is expected to commence by early February 2012. The new car will not only possess the latest trend in looks and style but it also comes with several new technology features and enhancements.” – This should be pointing to the upcoming replacement for the Persona, codenamed P3-21A. Not much details given here but with leaked info indicating it will be using the turbocharged Campro, well equipped with min 2 air bags, CVT gearbox, compact sedan look, and many more, as long it retained its pricing to below RM60,000 just like the current Persona, expect this will be a instant winner to Proton.
The Persona R sighted at the Proton test track at Shah Alam
Honestly,this should look great for Proton’s global car
5. Discontinuation of Gen2, Savvy and Satria Neo by 2012?
“For the next fiscal year, the production of Gen.2, Savvy and Satria Neo will cease. This is to make way for the production of our new first global car, the replacement for the Persona. Although the current Persona model still commands a respectable volume, the company has formulated new replacement models as a refreshed effort not only to improve product but also as a means to increase the capabilities of our people.” – This is the most interesting one, the introduction of the new Persona might see the end of the older models like the Gen 2, Savvy and Satria Neo. I can understand why, as seen in a popular car local forum lately, the sales of these 3 models was mediocre, and exception for the Satria Neo, the other 2 models has not reached 1,000 units on this year.
Probably the Gen 2 will be replaced by the hatchback or notchback version of the Persona sedan, and with the new Persona platform they will develop the new Satria Neo replacement. As for the Savvy, it seems it is unable to escape from the “Tiara Curse” and hence its unlikely to see the replacement due to poor sales.
Bye bye to Satria Neo in 2012?
From the looks of it, we can anticipate exciting times ahead for Proton beyond 2011, starting with the launch of the much anticipated Exora turbo by November. Current Proton’s Managing Director, Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin, will bring Proton into the next level after saving Proton from the brink of collapse in 2006. With emergence from the new Group Lotus and Proton’s anticipating new models, we expect Proton will leap into greater heights in the current challenging and unstable world economy. We will be sure to share new info or leaked info on new Proton models as well over here!