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Proton books TV slots to promote 'watershed' car

Proton will return to TV advertising for the launch of its Impian upper-medium saloon later this month. The commercials will air on satellite and national terrestrial channels as part of a campaign to raise awareness of the Malaysian brand.

Tengku Hasmadi, Proton Cars UK director, said Impian was a "watershed product" for Proton and set the tone for the future success of the company. It will compete against in the market against Mitsubishi Carisma, Hyundai Elantra and Skoda Octavia.

"We are building the brand, starting with the upper medium sector and then incorporating that credibility into the smaller cars," said Mr Hasmadi. "We are here to make money and survive, not take the volume approach."

He is looking to sell around 2,000 units a year and hopes to grow Proton UK sales by around 8% to 10% a year. The Impian will get a 1.8-litre engine, derived from Renault, from January and Proton is currently trying to source a diesel unit. It will have its own engine line-up ready in about two years' time.

Impian is priced at £12,000 for the standard 1.6 and £13,000 for the 1.6X with leather, climate control and CD player.

  • Proton has appointed a specialist sales manager, Mark Seal, who joins the Bristol-based UK importer from Saab, where he was responsible for developing a national business to business programme for its dealer network.

      His role at Proton is to develop the Impian's company car sales potential by targeting smaller “user chooser” fleets, as well as exploring fresh opportunities in other specialist sales areas.

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