ROTON has re- entered the Chile market after its last export of the Proton Wira in 1998.
Fifty units of Proton Preve in lefthand drive configuration are on their way to San Antonio, Chile.
This year, the national automaker plans to sell 1,280 cars in Chile.
“These are 500 Preve units, 80 Exora and 700 Saga units,” said Proton CEO Datuk Abdul Harith Abdullah.
Proton’s distributor in Chile is Andes Motor, a subsidiary of the Kaufmann Group.
“Our plan to export to Chile started back when the Malaysia- Chile Free Trade Agreement was signed on February 25, 2012. Proton enjoys a 6% exemption of import duty,” said Abdul Harith.
Besides the Preve, the left- hand drive 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 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 indus
try volume of around 330,000 passenger cars,” added Abdul Harith.
“We are positive that this is the beginning of many more opportunities to go global, especially after we complete our current new engine programme to meet the more stringent regulations of European countries,” he said.
The launch sales for the Preve and Exora in Chile are targeted to be in May followed with the Saga in November.
The models that will be available for the Chilean market are Preve 1.6 Standard MT, Preve 1.6 Executive MT and Preve 1.6 Premium CVT.
As for the Exora, it will be the 1.6 Standard CVT and 1.6 Premium CVT that would be shipped to Chile.
In November 2016, the Saga FLX 1.6 Standard MT and Saga FLX 1.6 Premium MT would make their debut.
Abdul Harith said the price of the Preve in Chile would be around US$ 17,000 ( RM71,202).
“70% of the world car market is left- hand drive; we have to enter these markets,” said Abdul Harith.
“Last year, we exported about 5,000 cars. This year, we expect to export 6,000 to 7,000 cars.”
Also in the pipeline would be the CKD ( completely knocked down) operations in Bangladesh in June.
“We are fortunate to have a distributor in Bangladesh who is investing in an assembly plant. The models planned for Bangladesh are the Preve, Saga and Exora.” -—
The Preve being transported off for shipment to Chile.