Proton’s rebadged Boyue to be ready by 4Q this year

The price for the rebadged Boyue will be set at the affordable range, according to a source

By AFIQ AZIZ / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

Proton Holdings Bhd is expected to launch its first-ever SUV in the fourth quarter (4Q) of this year, turning to the rebadged Geely Boyue as the model to revive the carmaker’s fortune.

The right-handed SUV based on Geely Boyue will go through rigorous testing and evaluation processes before it is launched for the local market, said an industry source.

“The process will include a certification from NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) and SIRIM (Scientific and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia) before it can be released to the market.

“The process will take one year at least, to obtain these certifications,” the source told The Malaysian Reserve.

The source said the rebadged Boyue is only expected to be ready for driving tests by October this year, barring any unforeseen developments during the testing and certification process.

In September last year, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd acquired a 49.9% stake in Proton from DRB-Hicom Bhd.

After the takeover, DRB-Hicom group MD Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar Syed Ali Rethza Albar was reported as saying the lengthy timeframe for the complete knocked-down SUV is due to its conversion to a right-handed vehicle.

The Chinese shareholder — who also owns Swedish marque Volvo Group and British sports car brand Lotus — wants to expedite Proton’s road to recovery, targeting profitability in five years.

The rebadged Boyue, the source said, is one of the initiatives under Proton’s turnaround programme and part of its holistic strategic plan.

The source added that the price for the rebadged Boyue would be set at the affordable range.

“Boyue is currently priced around RM68,500 (110,000 yuan) in China, while competitors such as the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 are sold at over RM100,000,” said the source.

“But its (the rebadged Boyue’s) features, affordable price and attractive design would be a game changer to the SUV market,” the source claimed.

It is believed Proton’s Tanjung Malim plant will be ready by the middle of this year to support the production of Proton’s first SUV.

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