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Proton's new designs

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The Malaysian carmaker eyes Nissan's ‘V' platform for India launch

A fter futile attempts to enter the Indian car market, the Malaysian carmaker, Proton may use the Nissan platform to have a go at the Indian compact car segmen

t. It is understood that Nissan may license its global compact ‘V' (for Versatile) platform to Proton which is in the hunt for a credible small car to gain a foothold in key markets such as India.

Built for emerging markets, the V-platform is the basis of the Micra manufactured in India and Thailand. By licensing the same platform to Proton, the Malaysian carmaker has a solid base to help develop its own range of compact hatchbacks and notchbacks which would be well-suited to meet Indian requirements.

The real advantage of this platform is it can reduce the car's weight and cut the number of parts needed by around 18 per cent. It can also be adapted to different markets and regulations, the head of Nissan's V-platform, Vincent Cobee, said. Costs can be further cut with Proton sharing the platform as the supplier base is likely to be common.

At the Geneva Show 2010, Proton and Italdesign-Giugiaro unveiled its ‘emas' or eco-mobility advanced solutions concept. The company is now in talks for technology and platforms and to source engines to make a production version.

Proton is targeting south-east Asia and India where a small compact less than four metres long will benefit from excise duty concession. While ‘emas' measured 3550mm, a rear-redesign can help Proton strike gold (which is what emas means in Malay) in India.

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