Check around in any automotive blogs and news site and the new Proton Preve must have gather alot of hits from every Malaysian, ranging from those who still believe in Proton and for those who wants Proton to close shop. Every time Proton launches a new car model (well their new car model comes in a few years, unlike Volkswagen with tons of new car releases every year) will drive Malaysia’s automotive interest to sky high. It will convert every Malaysians to become Jeremy Clarkson for a day, with or without Jezza’s curly hair. Malaysians from all walks of life will dash to the nearest Proton showroom to look, glare, sit,knock and then to criticize the car (well there are still praises heard in showrooms) before they sign their cheaques to the sales advisor.
Let us stroll back five years ago during the times when Volkswagen were very close on taking over Proton until the Proton management back then, lead by Datuk Seri Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh and Dato Seri Syed Zainal (DSZ), convinced the Malaysian government that they can prove Proton can stand on their own producing good quality cars rather than relying on foreign help. With that, the Malaysian government shunt Volkswagen and gave ample time for Proton to develop what supposed to be, the car that can “prove” to be a standout, a car that will shut all cynics and critics, a car that is well accepted by the West and most importantly to Malaysians as well.
To Prove this car is worthwhile?
Five years has passed and take a look on how Proton has progressed positively. Proton has created an affordable car for the masses via the new Saga and the Persona, the first multi purpose vehicle via the Exora, and now a global C segment car that should bring Proton into greater heights. A car to be testified to the Malaysian government and the Malaysian people that they can stand on their own to build a world class car. A car which is good by International standards,and to drive it to believe it.
That’s my friend, is why Proton named the new car as the Preve. The word “Preve” (pronounced as Prav vae) may be tough to be pronounced by many Malaysians (even myself have a tough time pronouncing it) but the word in Spanish meaning “to prove” is extractly what DSZ is trying to prove (no pun intended, on a serious note) in the last five years ago. To build and develop a world class car with good safety, exceptional equipment, good combination of engine and drive train, and excellent ride and handling for all that rivals cars built by established makers from America, Europe, Japan, Korean and so on.
Skeptics might think what else Proton has to prove after almost 30 years of government protection, shielding off Malaysian from buying high quality foreign cars. But seeing how long we have our national car project and looking at the increasing amount of cars in traffic and our debts are pretty bad, I personally not in favor with reducing car prices. Besides shutting down Proton will not go well with the Malaysian economy with numerous of jobs lost will hurt.
The car is indeed promising
So back to this new global car, the new Preve is indeed sounds promising. Well equipped with 4 air bags, electronic active safety like Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control, light force induction petrol engine, ISOFIX seats, CVT transmission and so on is something we will never heard off for a Proton 5 years ago. The hype on this car is still high and it is expected this car will sale well in Malaysia before it will eventually introduced in oversea market very soon.
Well you might be asking me where is my review of the Proton Preve after I been ranting about Proton’s new creation. Based on my first impressions in the showroom, quite promising, but I will go on further details once I test drive it. But if you want my advise, I think it will be much wiser to wait for the face lift. Reasons? Take a look at Proton’s recent products like the Gen2, Persona, Exora, and the Saga. All these models are enhanced with better interior quality, engine and gearbox, and refinement. No intention to pour cold water to those who bought the first batches of the Preve, but honestly as we know Proton pretty well, please wait for the face lift. You can thank me after that, i hope!
However, do recall last week when DSZ, the charismatic leader who is responsible for engineering Proton recent resurrection, was rumored to have resigned following new Proton owners, DRB-Hicom, is going to appoint a different person to head Proton, despite Proton has deny such allegations. It is a real shame, seeing Proton has the correct person that knows how to make cars well after being headed by overambitious person he should not been named (yet rumourly to be Chairman of Proton soon). Give DSZ another 5 more years in Proton and who knows we might have an Korean car beater, and perhaps Clarkson may think it is decent to drive and own a Proton in Surrey, UK.
Preve might be DSZ’s final car with Proton
Without further doubt chances to see DSZ to leave Proton soon is higher, seeing DRB-Hicom is more incline to hire someone they know and trust within their cycle so they can do it their own way. So, are we seeing the Preve as DSZ’s swan song to Proton for Malaysians and the world?