Proton Malaysia – why no hybrid car?


Let’s start with some prices. Looking at Honda Malaysia:

  • RM162.8k for a 1.3l hybrid Civic.
  • RM 113.8k for a 1.8s normal Civic.

Apparently, a hybrid is a CBU (completely built up unit), fully imported, which has a higher tax then the CKU (completely knocked down), assembled in Malaysia, normal Civic, in addition to whatever actual cost difference between the two.

Now, in the current regime of crude oil prices north of USD100, why doesn’t Proton get onto the bandwagon, and start developing hybrid cars? Once you get over the capital cost of purchasing a hybrid (and make no mistake, there will be a premium), then we can start reaping the benefits of better fuel efficiency, less smog in Kuala Lumpur’s daily traffic jams, and goodwill from having the national car manufacturer heading green. And possibly think of reducing Malaysia’s oil subsidy.

A look at Proton’s press releases reveals:

  • ‘EVE HYBRID’ TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATOR SHOWCASES RETRO-INTEGRATION OF HYBRID SOLUTIONS (06/03/2007)
  • GEN2 GETS A FACELIFT AND NEW ENGINE (03/03/2008)

So, Proton could have implemented hybrid technology probably by this year, but we have yet to see any commercial models, of which the latest launch was in April 2008. Why is that, I ask? Anyone have any info?

4 Responses to Proton Malaysia – why no hybrid car?

  1. Seti Ashgas says:

    Proton needs to wait for a copy of some car manufacturer’s blueprint to be available on internet before downloading it, copying and manufacturing it.

    If you want a hybrid proton, bring it to your mechanic. They probably design better. Look at all the proton modified to look like USS Enterprise/knight rider (if you still remember it) in Bangsar. I’d trust them to build a national hybrid car anytime.

  2. Kas'im says:

    Maybe Proton is too busy trying to get their main product correctly designed or they didn’t cost in to buy Honda (since it’s probably the only way for them to get the technology).
    On the other hand I cannot understand why a hybrid car that would reduce petrol requirements would have such a high tax! So much for Kyoto agreement and environmental conservation policies!

  3. Wata says:

    I wonder if there will be a market to perform standard to hybrid conversions. I suspect that only the Perdana will have the space for a retrofit.

  4. […] Hybrid Cars for Malaysia? In a past article, I pondered when Malaysia would start promoting the use of hybrid vehicles, both on supporting […]

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