Proton to “Kill” One of its Models This Year

Malaysian automaker Proton has decided to axe one of its models this year. Azmil Abu Bakar, senior director of group technical procurement for Proton, disclosed this during the ongoing 2023 Global Investors & Vendors Convention in Malaysia, which was focused on the Automotive Hi-Tech Valley (AHTV).

Ever since Proton came under the influence of Chinese auto giant Geely, all of its new models such as the X70, X50, X90 as well as the S50 are rebadged Geely models. However, the automaker is still dragging along the original distinct Proton models namely Exora, Saga, Iriz, and Persona. According to Azmil:

“The distinct models that we are still running… four original models of Proton, we’re still holding except for one model that we have announced to the supplier that we are going to EOP (end of production) by the end of the year. The other three models are going to be here for quite a long time.”

These distinct Proton models have been around for quite some time now, the Saga since 2016 (7 years old), Persona since 2016 (7 years old), Iriz since 2014 (9 years old), and the Exora which is around since 2009 (14 years old). Although Azmil refrained from mentioning the name of that model, it’s perhaps going to be the Exora because not only that it is the oldest but also the slowest-selling model in Proton’s lineup.

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Moving on, Azmil also mentioned that the new Geely-based X series Proton models will probably stay around for like 10 years. He said:

“The X series is obviously going to stay for probably, I would say, 10 years, but my message to the local suppliers is very simple: as much as you keep on being competitive for the current models, if you were thinking of expanding I think this is a good opportunity to have a study of potential collaboration with those suppliers who possess a higher level of technology and look into the possibility of supplying (components) for EV cars.”

Ainol was answering a query regarding the particular parts and technologies that Proton is now looking for in preparation for upcoming models. He added that with AHTV, the company is giving more attention to electric cars (EVs) and autonomous vehicles, and products important to these industries are being considered, such as EV-specific tires, battery packs, battery management systems, electric motors, and EV platforms.

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