Proton and Nissan Working on New Subcompact
Basically, Proton is planning to use an existing Nissan platform to save development costs and launch the new model sooner, so the car would be able to meet customers in 2012 or 2013. Citing local analysts, the aforementioned source notes that Proton could save up to $200 million if it reaches a deal with Nissan on the Micra platform, while the new product will be launched in about one year.
At this time, Proton is using a 1.2-liter engine for the Savvy model, the current subcompact in the company's lineup, provided by Renault, so sealing a deal with Nissan is pretty much a continuation of the agreement.
Furthermore, the deal could "significantly reduce the time required to develop new products and extend tremendous cost-savings in terms of product development," as Proton Managing Director Dato' Haji Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir said.
But reaching a deal with Nissan would also mean that Proton might launch some other products besides the subcompact, all of them to be based on the Micra platform. Nissan has already used the Micra platform for some other projects and, given the fact that Proton is losing ground in front of the competition, the Malaysian brand might do the same as soon as possible.