Malaysian cars notch a niche

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 16:

Although Nepal’s economy is progressing slowly, Nepali car market has been continuously widening scope in terms of brand expansion and launch of new models. The competition has been cutthroat. Japanese, Korean and Indian cars have their own strongholds in different segments and categories for decades. Though the market size is relatively small, carmakers from other countries are eyeing to push their products in Nepal. Malaysian cars made their debut a few years ago. Today, two major Malaysian car manufacturers have their products in Nepal. Within a short span of rolling in, the Malaysian cars have won the hearts of its 400-plus customers. Proton is the largest carmaker in Malaysia and has three different models — Waja, Wira Sedan and Wira Aero. Perodua is another Malaysian brand, which has two models

of family cars — Kancil and Kelisa. Both the car manufacturers have tie-ups with leading Japanese brands — Proton with Mitsubishi and Perodua with Daihatsu. Perodua still uses Daihatsu engines for its cars, while Proton has recently developed its own engine after strategic technical collaboration with British sports carmakers, Lotus. “Inspired by the world-renowned Japanese technology, Proton cars offer strong performance, style, safety and technological innovations,” says Sofia Bhatta, sales executive passenger car division at Golchha Organisation, the authorised distributor of Proton cars in Nepal.

Established in 1983, Proton was earlier used to manufacture cars with assembling Mitsubishi technology, which still continues in some cars. Now with its research and development wing set up following strategic partnership with Lotus, Proton has been transformed into a full-fledged and competitive car manufacturer capable of designing, engineering and building its own products. Proton has recently unveiled its own product Gen-2 in the international market and plans to bring it to Nepal by the end of this year. The Proton’s 1.6 ltr executive class Waja sedan is especially meant for senior professionals, bankers, expatriates and businessmen. Low maintenance cost with a high ground clearance and better mileage are some features that allure customers. The 4G18S4 MPI engine from Mitsubishi gives a maximum output of 76/6000 KW/rpm and a maximum torque of 140/2750 nm/rpm. The power assisted rack and pinion steering in the Proton Waja ensures fun-to-drive experience.

The Wira Aero from proton is a car that not only suits bumpy road conditions of Nepal but also endows it with a status symbol for young generation executives. The 1.5ltr Wira Aero gives you a maximum output of 64/6000 KW/rpm and torque of 124 Nm/rpm.

The Wira Sedan is slightly different with the Wira Aero and comes in 1.3 ltr four-cylinder 12V SOHC engine.

Perodua is a popular small family carmaker with its roots of engine from Daihatsu, known for its compact cars. Perodua has two models — 850cc Kancil and 1000cc Kelisa. Nemlink International Traders Pvt Ltd (NITPL) is its authorised distributor for Nepal. Shreya Rana at NITPL says, “Economy, style, comfort and efficiency are the basic features that every Perodua car carries.” Despite being a small passenger car, Kancil comes with full option and has given utmost care to safety, utility and style, says Rana, “Low maintenance cost and better mileage are luring factors.” Perodua Kelisa is a compact but spacious and comfortable car powered by a 1000 cc, 3-cylinder, 12-valve EFI-DOHC engine. “It’s a fun-to-drive compact car with fully air-conditioned interior and advanced collision body safety,” says Rana. According to her, NITPL has recently come out with a new campaign “Perodua Amazing Promotional Offer” considering the customers’ increased demand. Under the campaign, the Perodua customers can get extra benefits of six months free fuel (3L per day), two years or 20,000 km free servicing including free engine oil and filter change.