PROTON SAGA anniversary edition

9 July 1985 was just another day for many people but for Malaysia, that was the day the Proton Saga started rolling off production lines, a little over two years after the establishment of Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional (PROTON).

The history of PROTON the brand and the Proton Saga are inseparable. Starting from a clean sheet of paper PROTON was the brainchild of Malaysia’s fourth premier, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who had conceived the idea of a national car maker in 1979 to help push forward the industrialisation of the nation. Cabinet approval followed in 1982 and on 7 May 1983, Malaysia’s first automotive company was founded.

The first Proton Saga was based on a Mitsubishi model after the Japanese car manufacturer agreed to a joint- venture with HICOM to produce Malaysia’s first car. It quickly established itself as a favourite amongst Malaysian car buyers and on 16 March 1989 was launched in the United Kingdom, where it sold in such numbers that its 12-month sales target was achieved in just six months.

Today, the Saga retains its position as the mainstay of PROTON’s range of offerings. Since the launch of the upgraded 2019 model, booking volumes have nearly matched those of the original, which was sold during a time when consumers had fewer options to choose from. In fact, for the month of May 2020, it was the best-selling car in Malaysia while in June, it reached its highest monthly sales volume in 70 months.

Cumulatively over 1.8 million units have been sold in the last 35 years, meaning the Saga is the most popular model from a Malaysian automotive brand. With more gradual improvements in the pipeline, a commitment to excellence and the company’s dedication to keeping the Saga ahead of its rivals, the popular nameplate will carry on for at least another 35 years.

PROTON commemorated the 35th anniversary of the Proton Saga in the company’s first ever virtual launch over social media with the Saga Anniversary Edition marking the 4,150,035th car to roll off the line.

Over the past 35 years, PROTON has been a catalyst of industrialisation for the national economy, spurring the development of an entire automotive ecosystem making Malaysia one of the few countries in the world to produce its own vehicles.

“The Proton Saga is the car that put Malaysia, and therefore our economy on wheels and, it is still doing so” shared PROTON Chairman, Dato’ Sri Syed Faisal Albar.

An exclusive birthday gift
Unveiled as part of the celebrations, the Saga Anniversary Edition commemorates and celebrates the first Proton Saga delivered in 1985. Limited to 1,100 units only, and available exclusively in black with yellow highlights on both the exterior and interior of the car, the Saga Anniversary Edition is priced, RM39,300, the same as the current Saga Premium AT after the zero sales tax rebate.

Also unveiled during the launch was the 35th Anniversary Accessories package which includes Front Skirting, Side Skirtings, Door Visors, Hood Insulator, Trunk Lid Cover and Boot Tray priced at RM2,035. Available for purchase separately and compatible with the 2019 Saga model, the anniversary package offers significant cost savings of RM315 as purchasing the parts individually totals RM2,350.

“The Saga Anniversary Edition is a special gift for a special occasion to all Malaysians. It is our way of saying thank you for supporting the Saga for the past 35 years. Plus, you can order it today by visiting our showrooms or booking it online” said PROTON CEO Dr. Li Chunrong.

A breath of fresh air for all Proton owners
A further anniversary gift to mark the occasion was the announcement that Proton’s N95 Cabin Filter, previously only available on the Proton X70 will be made available for Saga, Persona, Iriz and Exora models registered after 9 July 2020. Current owners will have the option to purchase the N95 Cabin Filter for RM59, excluding labour charges. For a limited period until 9 October 2020 there will be a 15% discount on the price of the filter.

Combined with the current tax holiday, Malaysian motorists can celebrate 35 years of the Proton Saga Driving Malaysians with an Intelligent Proposition that has been made more iconic.

PROTON Deputy CEO Dato’ Radzaif Mohamed enthused that “The past 35 years have been a testament to Proton’s dedication towards producing products the ‘rakyat’ desire. For the decades to come, we are focused on delivering products, services and experiences of even higher quality.”