Proton, the local carmaker which had 49.9% of its stock sold to Chinese company Geely mid-last year, is reportedly launching an SUV in the fourth quarter of 2018
Citing an industry source, The Malaysian Reserve reported that Proton's first SUV is based on the Geely Boyue, a five-seat SUV.
The original form of the Boyue first made its appearance here in June 2017 during the agreement signing ceremony, which saw the Chinese company taking up a significant stake in Proton and its Lotus subsidiary.
Measuring 4.5 metres long, the Boyue was designed by former Volvo designer Peter Horbury, who currently heads Geely’s design studios in Gothenburg, Shanghai, Barcelona, and Los Angeles
In China, it is offered with a range of engines which include a 2.4 litre four-cylinder engine and a 1.8 litre turbocharged unit. Transmission options include a six-speed manual or automatic, depending on engine choice.
The source told the English daily that the Boyue must undergo testing and evaluation processes before it can be launched
The SUV is expected to be available for driving tests in October 2018, once the right-hand drive conversion and other certifications from relevant authorities are completed.
"The process will include a certification from NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) and SIRIM (Scientific and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia) before it can be released to the market.The process will take one year at least, to obtain these certifications," the source said.
The source added that the rebadged Boyue will be priced with affordability in mind, as Proton hopes to penetrate the SUV market that's currently being dominated by Japanese carmakers
"Boyue is currently priced around RM68,500 (110,000 yuan) in China, while competitors such as the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 are sold at over RM100,000.
But its (the rebadged Boyue’s) features, affordable price and attractive design would be a game changer to the SUV market," the source claimed.
It is believed Proton's plant in Tanjung Malim will be able to provide support for the production of the vehicle.
Following the report by The Malaysian Reserve, photos of the Boyue - which were apparently captured in Penang - have appeared on social media
What are your thoughts on the Geely Boyue? Yay or nay? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.