It seems the Malaysian car maker, Proton, is on the lookout for a local distributor in India, to establish operations. The company is said to be conducting feasibility studies, to gather intel on the market, to help choose the right ammunition.
Abdul Rashid Bin Musa, Chief Technical Officer of Group Engineering of Proton, has disclosed the intention to explore Indian market, and shared that there are some hoops to flex through that are anchoring down the immediacy of launch plans in the sub-continent.
As much as Proton and enthusiasts consider Iriz would be a very attractive product to start Indian operations with, given it is a sub-4 metre car and has highly appreciable quality and safety certifications, there is one major hurdle that would weigh down its competitiveness.
At the end of the day, Indian buyers as always will be conscious about price as much as all others, and having only 1.3 litre and 1.6 litre petrol engines, Proton Iriz will not be eligible for small car excise duty benefit in India given to cars powered by sub-1.2 litre petrol and sub-1.5 litre diesel engines.
If the Malaysian car manufacturer comes up with a fix for this, bringing Proton Iriz to India via CKD route would be all the more lucrative and worthy of fighting in the B-segment against Maruti Swift, Hyundai i20 and upcoming Honda Jazz, in India.
Via – Autocar Professional