Herald Sun - Motoring - - First Drive -

Pro­ton is em­ploy­ing fac­tory bonuses — “while stocks last” — to get some sales on the board for the year. Its pric­ing is about that of nom­i­nal Korean and Ja­panese ri­vals but it is em­pha­sis­ing five-year deals mean cheap own­er­ship.

There’s also the prospect of fresh vari­ants ar­riv­ing vir­tu­ally monthly next year, in­clud­ing a 2.0-litre hatch with pre­ten­sions to hot. But don’t hold your breath for a fresh it­er­a­tion of the Jum­buck ute. “It would be based on the Ex­ora plat­form but the busi­ness case doesn’t stack up,” says Fal­coner.

The suc­cess or oth­er­wise of busi­ness cases is more straight­for­ward now that the brand is un­der the aegis of Malaysian con­glom­er­ate DRBHi­com rather than the gov­ern­ment. De­ci­sions are made on hard-nosed lines.

This meant Fal­coner got head of­fice’s nod when he ar­gued for a man­ual to bet­ter ex­ploit the mod­est out­puts of the maker’s 1.6-litre tur­bos. The six-speeder will be fit­ted to ex­am­ples of the sedan and hatch ar­riv­ing in the new year and the DIY gear­box will take about $2000 off list prices.

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