GENEVA: Proton’s first global car Emas is expected to be in production by 2012.
The concept version of the car, shown in three variants, was launched at the Geneva International Motor Show on Tuesday by Proton adviser Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“This is Proton’s 25th year and we want to tell the world that Proton is now ready to be a global player, that is the message we want to convey,” he said, adding that Proton was willing to invest in strategic partnerships to drive this new direction for the company.
“I’ve told the Proton people that I’d like to see the car out in a year, but they tell me they need more time,” Dr Mahathir said.
He said the project represented a giant technological leap for Proton, which previously focused mainly on the local market.
Proton group managing director Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir, who was also present for the launch, said they would need between 17 and 24 months to get the car into production.
“We are thankful and humbled that this is happening as we celebrate our 25 years of existence in the industry.
“We will certainly make use of this opportunity to reach out and build our brand further into the global market,” he added.
Emas, an acronym for Eco Mobility Advance Solution, was designed in collaboration with acclaimed Italian design house Italdesign Guigiaro.
“This is a car for today, with a design for tomorrow,” said Italdesign Giugiaro co-chairman Fabrizio Giugiaro at the launch.
“We don’t want to call it a concept car, rather, this is a new concept for a car,” he added.
The three variants shown was the five-door/four-seater Emas, three-door/four-seater Emas3 and Emas Country, a crossover hatchback that will seat five.
The car is also ready to accommodate any of three power trains - all-electric, hybrid and petrol or diesel - based on technology designed by Lotus Engineering.
Also present at the launch was Proton chairman Datuk Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh and Dr Mahathir’s wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah.
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