Could been better?

This is what was going in my mind as I was reading Paul Tan’s post on Proton Waja CPS (read further at Paul Tan to know more about “CPS”).

I am not a big fan of Proton but like it or not, Proton pays a big role in the motoring industry of this country (how one can explain the high price of non-local made cars!). And since indirectly tax payers’ fund is involved (through Government’s involvement), it does not hurt to keep abreast of the development in Proton.

After a very long time, I ventured into a Proton dealership last week to have a look at the new Proton Saga and incidentally managed to have a closer look at Proton Persona as well. First impression of both cars is good especially on Proton Persona which looks as the car to move to next. When I got my first car (which is the same car I am driving now) four years ago, it came with so many “accessories” but with the same engine specifications – nothing to shout about other than a big relief of not having to buy “Ah Beng” sport rims and body-kit. I was glad that the QA work on my particular car was not so disappointing (although it took me several visits to Proton Edar to fix some minor things).

Proton since then has been a “pain in the neck” distributor – coming up with “quick fix” models (the worst is the dirt cheap Proton Saga models) until the introduction of Gen2. Finally there was a good looking model to watch out for except for the Campro engine which was back then was still new and unproven.

With mounting losses and no new models to show, Proton has been in turmoil until they came out with Proton Persona (Proton Neo did nothing much to move the profits, besides 2 door hatchback was not appealing to people with bigger families). Persona was “nothing to shout about model” (basically an “extension” of Gen2) but still it was better than the existing line ups (the dirt cheap Saga was going even cheaper). Thankfully the newer Proton Saga managed to bury the old Saga models for good.

CPS was something that has been in interest of local car fans for sometime now. Spy shots of the Proton Waja and Proton Gen2 with CPS have been displayed in several motoring forums and websites. But when it is finally launched, there is a feeling that Proton could have done better on the cosmetic of the Proton Waja to complement the CPS powered line-up.

(Photo source: http://star-motoring.com)

For start, they could have taken a cue from their Proton Waja MME version (picture above) to do something refreshing for the CPS model. They could have started with the rear lights – it looks “ok” during the night but in the sunlight, the “thermometer” like design is hardly eye-catching. Gen2 and Neo have better design than this. They could have introduced LED type lights – something that Perodua Myvi already have done so successfully.

Newer paint job could have been the next distinction – when I got my Iswara, the paint job was the plus point. It had a mixture of blue and silver and till this day, it enchants many after a good car wash and passionate polish job. New blue or silver tone could have made further difference to the ageing Waja line-up.

What’s next? Perhaps a new rim design or dashboard colour – then again, I am sure this comes at a cost but if there is not high and the changes are attractive enough, there should be a market for these models.

(Note: We do not know what the “final” plan back in Proton. They may just be “testing the water” or waiting for a grand launch or even scrap the idea of having a CPS powered Waja and launch a CPS powered Persona instead. We won’t know until the plans are made public. But assuming nothing much is changing, perhaps Proton should start looking on a better way to launch the CPS-powered Waja. The impression of Proton Waja from the Paul Tan’s post on the launch is a kind of disappointing)

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