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    The first Proton’s MPV had been launched recently by our Prime Minister. Proton expected the the Exora to boost up Proton’s sales. Now Proton had decided to Export the Proron Exora especially to Indonesia, Thailand and the middle east.Read the full story from the star bellow.

    PROTON TO EXPORT EXORA OUT OF COUNTRY

    Proton Exora Export

    Malaysian national automaker Proton, which has launched its first seven-seater multipurpose vehicle, is pinning hopes on the long-awaited model to spur sales and boost exports amid a global economic slump.

    The new Exora model marks a turning point in Proton’s product range, which previously focused only on passenger cars, and could be used as a platform to develop other high-end commercial variants, said managing director Syed Zainal Abidin.

    Proton believes there will be “overwhelming response” for the 1.6l engine vehicle due to its competitive pricing below RM76,000 – the cheapest in the market – and improved features, he said.

    The automaker has received 2,500 bookings ahead of its official launch, he said.

    “Despite the current (economic) situation, we believe there will be good spinoffs … it will help to stimulate a lot of interest not only for the company but for the whole industry,” he told The Associated Press at a recent media preview.

    Syed Zainal said the Exora will make its debut in Indonesia in July and in Thailand by the year-end, before being exported to the Middle East next year.

    “This is a starting point about the way we want to go forward,” he said.

    “We set our sight very clear that the domestic (market) cannot be our champion. Every car that we produce must cater for exports … our survival goes beyond the shores of Malaysia.”

    Proton, which returned to the black in the fiscal year ended Mar 2008, is hoping the Exora will help to sustain its profitability as the economic downturn hits demand globally.

    Proton’s exports remain minimal and sales are largely derived in Malaysia, Southeast Asia’s biggest passenger car market. New vehicle sales in the domestic market fell 4.8% in February from a year earlier, the fifth straight month of decline.

    Despite the weak market, Proton aims to sell 2,500 units a month as the vehicle offers value for money with dual airbag, auto cruise, leather seats, DVD player, a navigational system and bluetooth connectivity, he said.

    Proton is also working on different prototypes including a pickup model and taxi vehicle based on the Exora platform, he said.

    MIMB Investment Bank said Proton appeared to have learnt from past mistakes by improving on interior finishing and the quality of the exterior.

    The vehicle’s debut also coincides with a government-backed auto scrapping system, in which owners can trade-in vehicles over 10 years old to get a RM5,000 rebate for any Proton new car from this month.

    “Pricing wise, they can win. We believe Exora will cause a wave in the local auto market,” said Rosnani Rasul, MIMB auto analyst.

    But Maybank Investment Bank warned it may be tough to meet its sales target given weak market conditions and more stringent loan approvals for Proton cars.

    Both MIMB and Maybank agreed, however, that Proton will ultimately need to tie-up with a large auto manufacturer to cut costs, gain new technology and penetrate the global market.

    “They need the economic of scale to tone down their cost. Proton has to get married and find a partner if it wants to be competitive globally,” Rosnani said.

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