Let us look at Australia, another important export market for Proton. The Proton Arena/Jumpbuck is a very popular choice in Australia as being the cheapest and most economical “Ute” (pickup in Australian term) money can buy. Proton Satria Neo was also selected as Top Gear Australia’s Star in a Bogged Standard car for their celebrities.
In the Asian market, Proton did enter into Singapore but not really a popular choice due to a massive choices of cars they have. Also high prices of COE doesn’t encourage them to buy cheaper cars.
However, one of Proton’s smartest strategies is to enter Thailand and Indonesia markets. We can see the Exora MPV did reasonably well in both countries and the Savvy, despite unloved in Malaysia, was well received in Thailand. There even a Persona Police car in Indonesia. Wonder why Proton is a popular choice for cops in some parts of the world?
In China, Proton has signed a number of agreements with a few Chinese manufacturer and one of them is Youngman. The Persona and Gen 2 was bought in as CKD units to be assembled over there. Now Proton is working with another Chinese company, Hawtai for the new Tuah model to be assembled there.
In Taiwan, Proton did sell their Gen 2 and Savvy cars there. Not sure if they still continue selling there.
In Japan, Cusco and Proton signed an agreement to use Proton cars to be sold as rally cars for Asia & Junior categories. The car did pretty well in APRC rallying last year.
In the Middle East, Protons are available in Turkey, Eygpt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and so on. The Iran market did relatively well and Proton has plans for CKD production as well. Strangely the Proton Wira can be found in Iraq as I remembered seeing on in “The Hurt Locker”.
The biggest surprise of all? I can’t imagine seeing a Proton Satria GTI (still one of the finest Proton ever made) in the United States. Mind you Proton did no sell their cars there and the Yanks pretty much like their cars bigger and with huge displacement and V8 engines. Hope you enjoy this post as much as we do!