18 January 2008

PROTON : Going NOwhere...

PM launches new Saga

KUALA LUMPUR: After 23 years as the original Proton model and easily the national carmaker's most recognisable car, the Proton Saga has progressed to the next generation.

The new Saga was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi here on Friday.

Buyers have the option of choosing between a four-speed automatic and five-speed manual transmission. The car is priced between RM31,500 and RM39,998, depending on the specifications.

Although reprising the Proton's own 1.3-litre Campro twin-cam engine that is also used by other current Proton models such as the Gen.2 and Satria Neo, the Saga's block gets an innovative intake air-fuel module (IAFM) which promises better performance and drivability.

The original Saga was launched in July 1985 and more than 1.2 million units have been sold since.

- The Star online.

Hhhmmm... I wonder if Proton would EVER be able to compete fairly and justly and efficiently with other car producers. After 22 years, ONLY 1.2 millions were sold?? C'mon... They could have done better than that!

Taxes (tariffs) on imported cars have annoyed me, since forever. Malaysians can actually buy something more than what can they afford at the moment. In a way, it distorts the true picture of Malaysian standard of living, if cars were to be one of the indicators. Have heard of this particular joke?? Malaysia is one of the richest country in the world, coz Malaysian can actually afford to buy half million ringgit worth of Mercs, (and im talking about LOADS of Mercs) when it actually costs merely $30-40,000 in the States! (Of course, the price varies according to models).

(The latest exchange rate, as 18th January. USD1=RM3.28. Source- Federal reserve Bank of New York)

But of course, the Gov has a good reason for it. We need to protect our infant industry, Proton is still a child compared to the giants of car maker, blah blah blah... But after 22 years??Hallo??? Proton is no longer a CHILD! If Proton really wants to emerge as champion in at least the local market, to enhance its efficiency in all aspects of production, Malaysia HAS to open its automobile market freely to all. Fast.

: Longing for VW Beetle ever since :


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