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Gen.2 wins Proton name game

Symbolic: The Gen.2 badge means a lot in Malayisa, but not so much in Australia.

Gen.2 is almost certain to be the name of Proton's new small car in Australia

20 Apr 2004

PROTON’S promising new five-door small car isset to get the same Gen.2 name in Australia as itwill in its home Malaysian market.

Proton Cars Australia managing director JohnStartari said the Gen.2 name was "likely" followinghigh level meetings in Malaysia at which hepitched two alternative names that were rejected.

It is understood only trademark difficultieswould stop the car being introduced as the Gen.2.

Gen.2 is a highly symbolic name in Malaysiawhere the car is seen as the national car company’sfirst truly independent design.

It follows on from the Waja sedan, which wasregarded as an attempt by Proton to do more thansimply badge engineer a new model – Gen.1 if you like.

43 center imageBut in Australia Gen.2 will mean much less,which is why Mr Startari favoured a naming conventionthat could be used across the entire Protonrange, which will receive a dramatic overhaul inthe coming months and years.

The Gen.2, which replaces the Persona here, goes on sale in Australian in August/ September, while the second generation Satriathree-door and the five-door mini car codenamedTRM should both appear in February/March2005.

The Waja is set to return to Australian shoresaround the same time as the Gen.2 goes on sale.

The revised sales plan should see the car offeredas a 1.6-litre manual and a new 1.8-litre automatic.

A single model is expected to be offeredmatching up with the lower specification of twoversions previously on sale.

Pricing for the 1.8auto is expected to be the same as the old 1.6auto – $24,840. The 1.6 manual should also stayunchanged at $22,990.

PCA stopped importing the slow-selling Wajalast year and had not planned to re-commencesales until a significant facelift due in 2005.

The 1.8 is a Renault-sourced double overheadcamshaft 16-valve engine that produces 88kW at5750rpm and 165Nm at 3750rpm.

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