PROTON Holdings Berhad is strengthening its Middle Eastern market with simultaneous launching of its Persona model.
The model was first launched in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, followed by Cairo Egypt. The two launches would be followed by a series of launches in Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Syria market over the next two months.
The Persona was launched by PROTON Holdings Berhad Managing Director Dato’ Haji Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 22 November and in Egypt on 24 November. The Gen2 model was also jointly launched in Egypt.
Dato’ Syed Zainal says that it is important for PROTON to ensure that it strengthens its presence in the Middle Eastern region, particularly Saudi Arabia and Egypt, being two of the larger markets in the region.
PROTON had entered the Saudi market in 2006 when it introduced the Waja model via a smart partnership collaboration with local outfit Al Rashed Al Thunayan Auto Co.
In Egypt, PROTON first launched Waja and Wira models in 2001 and in 2006 brought in the Gen.2 hatchback. Similarly, PROTON had also established a smart partnership with an Egyptian company Alpha Ezz Elarab Co. as its distributor in the country.
“The decision to enter into the Middle East market was a natural progression for us being in the automotive sector. After more than 20 years in this industry, we now have presence in more than 24 countries worldwide,” says Dato’ Syed Zainal. He added that the launch of Persona in these two countries is testament to the strength of PROTON’s partnerships and commitment to the respective countries.
Both Al Rashed Al Thunayan Auto Co. and Alpha Ezz Elarab Co. have been instrumental in the development of PROTON sales in Saudi and Egypt respectively.
The Persona, dubbed as PROTON’s “pride and joy”, signifies the company’s commitment to build the right car, at the right time and at the right price. Known for its advanced styling, generous interior and expansive luggage space, the Persona was developed with consumers in mind and PROTON’s commitment to improve every quality aspect, from design, styling and production to sales and after-sales.
Under the bonnet, the Persona is powered by the enhanced Campro IAFM (intake air fuel module) engine, which promises smooth drivability and riding comfort. On top of that, the car is also being engineering by Lotus promising an excellent ride and handling experience for the customer.
These attributes and qualities have won Persona the Best Model of the Year for Malaysia at the 2008 Frost & Sullivan Automotive Awards for the South East Asian (ASEAN) market. To date, the Persona has received more than 59,000 bookings in Malaysia.