Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Proton believes Exora will move Malaysians

PETALING JAYA, Feb 17 – As the global economic turmoil drags the big carmakers inexorably into a sea of red ink, Proton believes it has the solution to staying afloat – Exora, the company's first foray into the MPV market.

The national car company said today it will start selling in April the all-new new multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) priced below RM80,000. Bookings will be accepted from Feb 21.

The Exora is the company's first foray into the MPV market.

Proton has not released official pictures of the Exora but a fair idea of its appearance can be derived from camouflaged test units spotted around the Klang Valley.

At a ceremony to announce the name today, Proton managing director Datuk Syed Zainal Abdin Tahir said he believed that the MPV would fit into the company's aspiration to build the “right car for the right market at the right price”.

“Exora” was the winning entry in Proton's nationwide MPV naming contest which began in September last year. The month long contest attracted 251,763 entries.

“Exora is a flower that blooms in a bunch. That evokes the spirit of the MPV, which is togetherness. It demonstrates the MPV as a family vehicle and that is why we decided to pick the name,” explained Syed Zainal.

According to the company, the new design incorporates many of the best features available in a passenger car into the MPV.

Nature's version of Exora is a picture of togetherness.

The features are designed to meet the needs of a Malaysian family, said Syed Zainal.

The MPV can carry up to seven passengers and will be powered by the Campro 1.6 CPS engine.

Proton plans to produce 3,000 to 3,500 units of the vehicle each month from its plant in Shah Alam. The company has also invested about RM450 million in the development of the MPV.

Even though the Exora is currently intended for the local market, Proton plans to export the MPV is expected to be exported to Indonesia from July.

“For me, this kind of vehicle is a requirement for our market. Definitely the demand is there but the volume depends on pricing and demand,” the chairman of Proton, Datuk Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh said.

The vehicle will come in five colours – Genetic silver, Tranquility Black, Blue Haze Pyrite Brown and Gaia Blue.

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