The Malaysian car maker Proton has been planning to enter into the Indian market for a while now but it seems things are moving at a very slow pace for Proton. A recent report reveals that Proton is considering Iriz hatchback for Indian market though there is official confirmation yet. If Proton enters into Indian market it would like to assemble the Iriz hatchback locally by joining hands with local distributor or local Partner.
Operations could be same like Mitsubishi and Isuzu in India which assemble its vehicles with Hindustan Motor Corp. Despite of Being in Indian market for over a decade Mitsubishi is still to open its own locally assembly plant in India and Proton might follow the same footsteps.
A Few years earlier there was rumor that the Malaysian car maker to set up partnership with M&M (Mahindra and Mahindra) to sell its cars in India but there was no concrete development on that between the two.
Currently, Proton is doing a feasibility study of Indian market and its buyers so they can deliver right product. The Proton Iriz was showcased in Malaysian market last year and created hell lot of buzz there and emerged as a global product for Proton.
The stylish hatchback is packed with various top notch safety features such as electronic brake distribution, hill hold assist, brake assist, anti-lock braking system, multiple airbags and many more. All variants of Iriz hatchback has been awarded with 5 star ASEAN NCAP ratings.
According to Mr. Abdul Rashid Musa there are some barriers other than trade and company is analyzing that. There are regulations over taxes like reduction of excise duties if car is less than 4 metres and apart from tariff there are other priorities, market conditions. India is diesel centric country where most buyers nowadays favors diesel but unfortunately Proton doesn’t offer diesel mill at the moment.
Proton Iriz comes with two petrol engines- one is 1.3L VVT motor making 95bhp power and 120Nm of peak torque while other is 1.6VVT engine producing 108bhp power and 150Nm torque and according to Musa as well unavailability of diesel engine is company’s main hurdle for India. In Malaysia where diesel engines are mainly limited to commercial vehicles only so Iris will have its work cut out for it if they want to be a fierce competitor to Hyundai i20, Swift and Volkswagen Polo.
What’s your opinion? Would you like to see Iriz hatchback on Indian roads?