Proton set to unveil new Satria replacement on June 16


13-06-2006: [b]Proton set to unveil new Satria replacement on June 16/b
By Serina Joon

Proton Holdings Bhd is set to unveil a new model to replace the two-door compact car, Satria, on June 16 - its first new launch since a year ago, sources said.

The new model is expected to help shore up its market share.

A source working closely on the project said the Satria replacement model (SRM) was named Neo, which will have a Campro engine with capacity of 1.3 litre and 1.6 litre.

The SRM project has been on the radar screen of auto enthusiasts for close to two years.

However, Proton has delayed its launch date for almost a year, despite earlier talk that it was to unveil the model shortly after the Savvy was introduced in June last year.

Proton has been under intense scrutiny and facing fierce competition from local and foreign marques that have been whetting the appetite of car buyers with various launches of new models.

The latest models parked in showrooms are the local version of the Peugeot 206 called Naza Bestari, Naza Sutera and Toyota Yaris, all launched within the last month.

Proton has been criticised for being slow in coming up with new models. As a result, its market share is declining and benefited competitors, especially Perodua with MyVis waiting list a few months long.

Protons market share fell to 30% in April. Just a year ago, it commanded in excess of 40%, while four years ago, for every two cars on the Malaysian road, one is a Proton.

I saw the car in person. I have to say I’m impressed. However it was being driven and I never got a chance up close and see the interior.

I think it’s a good start. Now if they price it right, has no major problems, and not screw up the manufacturing process I think they’ll have a seller.

This is from one of Proton’s toughest critics. (Then again this critic haven’t actually tried out the car and seen its interior)