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Proton Savvy hits rock-bottom

Price leader: The Proton Savvy is in runout at $13,990 driveway.

Proton Savvy matches Getz as Australia’s cheapest car – for now – ahead of new model

Proton logo7 Aug 2009

PROTON has matched the driveaway sale price of Hyundai’s cheapest Getz with its smallest model, the Savvy hatch, which is now available at a run-out price of $13,990 – including dealer delivery, registration and 12 months compulsory third-party insurance.

Suzuki’s new Alto micro-hatch, which was released this month as Australia’s first affordable sub-light car, continues to carry the lowest manufacturer’s list price (MLP, excluding dealer delivery and statutory charges) available for a new car in Australia, at $12,490.

But the light-sized Savvy 1.2 five-door, which will be replaced four months earlier than expected in October by an all-new 1.6-litre Proton sedan, now joins its direct rival in the Getz 1.4 three-door.

Both the Getz and Savvy previously carried an MLP of $13,990 – in undercutting the least expensive Alto’s MLP, as well as its driveaway price of $14,990.

Available now through any of Proton’s 35 dealers nationwide, the four-speed automatic version of the Savvy has a run-out price of $14,990 driveaway.

Also available at a driveway price for the month of August is Proton’s 1.6-litre Persona sedan, which is now priced at $16,990 including statutory and dealer delivery costs, or $18,990 as an auto.

43 center imageLeft: Proton Persona.

As with the single Savvy variant, Proton Cars Australia (PCA) is now essentially including on-road costs in the price of the GX-only Persona, which it has revealed will be joined by a new entry-level variant in three months.

“Savvy is one of the most cost-effective and frugal cars on the Australian market with standard features such as reverse sensors, ABS, 15-inch alloys, SRS dual front airbags and with this special pricing it has been further enhanced,” said PCA sales and operations general manager Billy Falconer.

“With average fuel economy of just 5.7 litres per 100km, Savvy is the perfect car for people seeking a cost-effective, safe and sure-footed commuter that is fun to drive.

“The special Savvy pricing represents a saving to buyers of around $3000 and prepares the market for the cutting edge Proton small sedan that will launch in October.

“Similarly Persona is excellent value from $16,990 driveaway and is also fully equipped with standard features such as reverse sensors, ABS, 15-inch alloys, SRS dual front airbags and an average fuel economy of 6.6L/100km, and a saving of around $3000 with this special pricing during August,” said Mr Falconer.

PCA has committed to releasing a new entry-level model based on the Malaysian maker’s domestic-market Saga sedan, which Proton promises will set a new MLP benchmark of less than $13,000 and will go by a new name for Australia.

While the all-new small sedan was to have been launched here in early 2010, the five-speed manual version of the 1.6-litre Campro-engined four-door will go on sale in October, followed by four-speed automatic and smaller-engine variants in February next year.

As part of the “cost-efficiency onslaught” that spearheads the restructure of its Australian operations, Proton has also promised low-cost variants of all its passenger car models from November, including the three-door Satria Neo, four-door Persona and five-door Gen.2.

PCA managing director John Startari said a combination of new specifications, improved manufacturing efficiencies and a stronger Australian dollar had allowed the company to institute a lower pricing structure across its model range in the face of the imminent Australian launches of the first Chinese-branded passenger cars from Great Wall and Chery.

“Along with our new price leading sedan, economy car buyers will be able to take advantage of Proton's trademark Lotus-engineered handling as well as our acknowledged reliability along with lower prices right across the range,” he said.

“Our plan is to champion the value proposition without sacrificing safety, quality and reliability and that has been particularly attractive to the new dealers who we have been recruiting.

“Clearly there will be new low-cost brands entering the market in the coming months. However, Proton’s strength is that it has been in this market for close to 15 years and is a factory-owned operation with the full backing of our parent company in Malaysia.

“Product, pricing and marketing support have received major boosts from our parent company to ensure that we have the tools to expand our market share in this country.

“With a lower-cost sporty Satria Neo, Gen.2 and Persona, as well as the entry-level sedan, Proton will have a very structured range of cars with more variants covering the market from sub $13,000 to a shade over $20,000,” said Mr Startari, who added that a number of new Proton dealers had decided against taking “a risk” with new brands, presumably in reference to Chery and Great Wall.

“Proton has already recruited a number of new dealers and they have told us that they had considered taking on other low cost brands but did not want to take the risk with brands that do not have an established record in Australia.

“There are more than 25,000 Protons on Australian roads and we believe we can now take the brand to a higher level.”
Proton Savvy/Persona pricing:
Savvy $13,990
Savvy (a) $14,990
Persona $16,990
Persona (a) $18,990

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