In August 2018, Al-Haj Automotive signed an agreement with Malaysian automaker Proton as the exclusive authorized distributor and assemblers of Proton vehicles in Pakistan. In March 2019, groundbreaking ceremony of Proton’s plant in Karachi was officiated by the premiers of both Pakistan and Malaysia.
Related: Mahatir Confident Proton will be Successful in Pakistan
Later in April, the exchange of documents for a Licensing and Technical Assistance Agreement between Proton and Al-Haj Automotive was conducted. Proton’s plant in Karachi, which is the company’s first ever CKD plant in Southeast Asian region, will sit on a 55 acre site with an initial investment within USD $30 million. The facility will reportedly be ready for production by June 2020 and would have an annual capacity of 25,000 units. The plant would also create 2,000 direct jobs and 20,000 indirect jobs through other areas such as local vendors.
The first product to be offered in Pakistan by Al-Haj Proton venture will be the 1.3 liter Saga sedan. According to Proton Chairman Syed Faisal Albar, Saga is being opted simply because it is below 1500cc, while (in Pakistan) the tax structure of 1600cc and above is different.
Related: Proton to get $455 Million Financing from China Construction Bank
While Proton’s plant will become ready by mid 2020, CarSpiritPK have learned that the company will begin selling CBU version of the Saga sedan by the second quarter of 2020. Furthermore, it will be the new & improved Saga facelift that was recently launched in Malaysian market.
The all-new Saga facelift features styling and equipment updates while continues to be powered by the same 1.3 liter DOHC VVT engine that punches out 94 hp and a peak torque of 120 Nm, as offered with the pre-facelift models. Transmission options are 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic.
According to our information Proton Saga will ideally be priced around the top-spec Cultus VXL AGS, and in this sort of money can prove to be a good option considering the practicality of sedan and the availability of an automatic gearbox.
Related: 5 Proton Cars to Watch Out For
The newly launched Saga facelift is getting an over-whelming response in its home market. Whether it will receive the same reception here when launched, we will have to wait to find out. What is your opinion regarding the launch of 1.3 liter Proton Saga facelift in Pakistan. Let us know with your comments.
A 3d animation professional with over 20 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations & production facilities of Pakistan, an avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver writings to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com