Proton, the Malaysian carmaker, hopes to announce its India plans in three to four months, according to group managing director, Dato’ Haji Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir, who spoke with Autocar Professional, Autocar India’s sister magazine, on a sidelines of a seminar in Malaysia.
In an interview, he said, “Since 2008, we have conducted a series of customer surveyas and road tests in order to thoroughly understand market requirements and customer behaviour. We believe that our range of products is capable of satisfying the needs of the Indian market. To date, our current models fit well in the Indian automotive segments of A3 (Saga, Persona, Gen.2) and MPV (Exora). Our future new models in the pipeline have also taken into consideration the need to fulfill the Indian market requirements -- GSC (segment A2) and Persona-R (segment A4)."
Autocar India has learnt that Nissan may license its global compact V (for Versatile) platform to Proton which desperately wants a credible small car to gain a foothold in key markets like India. Built for emerging markets, the V platform is the basis of the Micra manufactured in India and Thailand. Alliance partner Renault also has access to this platform as a base to spin off its own range of compact cars expected in 2012. By licensing the V platform to Proton, the Malaysian carmaker has a solid base to help develop its own range of compact hatchbacks and notchbacks for Indian requirements.
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