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Proton drops Preve sedan

Over and out: The Preve has been Proton’s best seller in Australia, but it has been discontinued from the range.

Suprima S and Exora to kick on as Proton kills off Preve sedan in Australia

15 Jun 2016

STRUGGLING Malaysian car-maker Proton has pulled its top-selling model – the Preve – from its Australian line-up after just three years on the market.

The small sedan was being offered in three grades, including base GX manual from $14,990, GX auto from $16,990 and the turbocharged GXR auto from $21,390, all driveaway, before Proton Cars Australia made the call to pull the plug.

The Preve’s demise was reported late last year, but it remains unclear if there is a replacement in the works for the Malaysian-built sedan.

A Proton Cars Australia executive told GoAuto that the company was still importing other models and that there were still some Preves in dealerships, but did not give a reason for the Preve’s demise.

“We will not be importing any more Preve and instead concentrating on the Suprima S and Exora,” the representative said.

“We still have some Preve with dealers and this is why we have kept the Preve on our site.”

Proton will soldier on with the Suprima S, which is a hatchback version of the Preve, in GX guise from $17,990 and GXR from $20,990, both driveaway.

This pricing is significantly lower than when the Suprima S launched in Australia in late-2013 with a starting price of $19,790, topping out at $26,590 driveaway.

It appears the slow-selling Exora seven-seat people-mover will also continue on in the Australian range for the foreseeable future.

The Preve is easily Proton’s most popular model in Australia, capturing 344 out of Proton’s 814 total sales in 2014 – the car’s first full year on sale – before grabbing 336 of the 421 sales volume in 2015.

So far this year, Proton has sold 89 Preves, representing an 8.2 per cent drop over the same period last year, while the Suprima S and Exora have found 10 and three new homes respectively.

The Preve and the Suprima S are two of the slowest sellers in Australia’s ultra-competitive sub-$40,000 small-car segment. To the end of May the Preve has only outsold the Citroen C4 (44), DS4 (10), Chery J3 (7), Kia Soul (33) and Toyota’s discontinued Rukus (10).

The Preve was praised for achieving a five-star ANCAP crash safety rating, the first Proton to get top marks and a score that was also achieved by the Suprima S. The Exora is a four-star-rated car.

In late-2013 Proton introduced a 103kW/205Nm turbocharged 2.0-litre version of the Preve to lift buyer interest.

While there is no Preve replacement in sight, executives from Proton had previously suggested the Iriz light hatch could make it to Australia, although the company has since gone quiet on that model.

Proton has just launched a new Perdana mid-sizer in Malaysia, which is based on the previous-generation Honda Accord, but it is unclear if this would be offered in Australia.

The Proton Cars Australia website shows 31 dealers across the country.

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