PROTON Holdings Berhad ("PROTON" or "the Company") re-enters the Chile market after its last export of the Proton Wira in 1998. 50 units of Proton Prevé left hand drive (“LHD”) will be on its way to San Antonio, Chile, to mark the first batch of cars from the total of 1,000 units of cars PROTON anticipates to sell in Chile this year.
Proton cars will be sold by Andes Motor, a subsidiary of the Kaufmann Group, a distributor for Chile who signed the Distributor Agreement with PROTON on 1 July 2015.
"Our plan to export to Chile started back when the Malaysia-Chile Free Trade Agreement (“FTA”) was signed on 25 February 2012. PROTON enjoys a 6% exemption of import duty and we are thankful to the Malaysian government for this trade initiative. This gave us the opportunity to identify a viable marketplace for the entry of a left-hand drive market for our cars," said Dato' Abdul Harith Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer of PROTON.
Besides the Prevé, LHD Exora and Saga are the other two models that will also be marketed in main cities of Santiago, Concepcion Vina La Serena, Antofagasta and Valdivia Temuco Osorno.
"We are excited to re-enter the Chilean market after we sold almost 3,000 units of cars back then, from 1994 to 1998. Now, we have a new partner, who is a leading distributor of buses, trucks and luxury cars with a vast network to provide proven sales and after sales services. PROTON will be their first and only passenger car brand to be marketed for the mass market, with Chile's population of 17.6 million and a total industry volume of around 330,000 passenger cars. This huge market potential is a golden opportunity for PROTON in our efforts to increase our production volume and expand our sales and market presence," Dato' Harith added.
"As this year is an interesting year for PROTON, we are positive that this is the beginning of many more opportunities to go global, especially after we complete our current new engine programme for us to meet the more stringent regulations of European countries. We shall continue to build good cars and carry out product improvements so that we not only do better in our home turf, but improve our global presence as well," Dato' Harith added further.
The launch sales for the Prevé and Exora in Chile are targeted to be in May 2016 followed with the Saga in November 2016. The models that will be available for the Chilean market are Prevé 1.6 Standard MT, Prevé 1.6 Executive MT and Prevé 1.6 Premium CVT. Meanwhile for the Exora, it will be the 1.6 Standard CVT and Exora 1.6 Premium CVT. In November 2016, the Saga FLX 1.6 Standard MT and Saga FLX 1.6 Premium MT will make its debut entry.