NATIONAL carmaker Proton yesterday confirmed that it will be launching three new models within the next three months – the Saga, Persona, and the Suzuki Ertiga-based MPV.

Datuk Ahmad Fuaad Kenali, the CEO of Proton told members of the press yesterday that the first model to be launched will be the 2016 Persona in August, followed by the 2016 Saga in September, and a new B-segment MPV based on the Suzuki Ertiga in October.

Image of the new Proton Persona

With the launching of the models mentioned above, Proton will have the new Saga competing in the A-segment, the new Persona, which is basically an Iriz sedan competing in the B-segment, the Preve and Suprima S in the C-segment, and the Perdana in D-segment.

As for the MPVs, the Ertiga-based model will be a B-segment MPV, while the Exora will be carrying Proton’s flag in the C-segment MPV market.

Currently, the Toyota Avanza-class Suzuki Ertiga is manufactured in India, Myanmar and Indonesia. The only petrol engine available for the front-wheel drive MPV is a woeful 1.4-litre engine that musters just 94 hp, paired to either a 4-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual to haul this 1,190 kg MPV.

On another note, Proton also announced that the new Accord-based Perdana, which was launched a couple of months ago, will be getting Proton’s own powertrain package by the end of 2017. While the model is offered with Honda’s 2.0-litre and 2.4-litre engines at the moment, we expect the car to get Proton’s E01 2.0-litre direct injection engine when it gets updated.

The Suzuki-Ertiga based MPV will be launched by October 2016

With more models coming into the picture, Proton said that it is currently in the midst of improving its after-sales services, and also that it is undergoing massive restructuring – all with the sole aim of providing better after-sales services to customers by the time the company updates its product portfolio.


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