Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir, Group Managing Director of Proton Holdings Berhad has come out to clarify the matter saying that the new model is not merely a rebadging exercise but is more of a result from a collaboration project between the 2 companies. In fact, he claims that the current Lancer also ‘borrowed’ some results from the collaboration with Proton.
He added that apart from taking on the designs and the looks of the Lancer, Proton had also ‘injected additional values’ into the Lancer which is currently being sold. Hence he said that the ‘Rebadging’ word should not be used and instead call it an ‘OEM collaboration’. He explained that ‘rebadging’ is to actually replace the current logo with a new one and that this is currently being done by some global OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) worldwide, which he claims has nothing wrong with it.
In terms of the Inspira, which had its soft launch on October 21, he said that the current Lancer has been given some tune-up where they have enhanced its technology and comes with improved capability. Hence, it is not surprising to find that those who have test drove the new Inspira that it is loud and has superior handling. On top of that, the car’s performance was also improved as the engine has been acclimatized to the local conditions.
The collaboration saw some engineers from Proton spending 6 weeks at Mitsubishi’s plant in Japan while 6 of the latter’s technical experts came our way. The official launch will take place in November and to date, they have already received more than 1,100 orders for the 4 door executive sedan. This shows that the old saying that ‘do not buy first batch of Proton cars’ are no longer applicable.