National carmaker Proton Holdings Bhd is adopting an alphanumerical naming system for its future models beginning with the X70, its first sports utility vehicle (SUV).
Sales and Marketing vice-president Abdul Rashid Musa said the letter X is synonymous with crossover or SUV vehicles, while the number 70 denoted the size or class of the SUV and would enable Proton to adopt a logical system to add bigger or smaller models in the future.
“This is the first time an alphanumerical naming system is used on a Proton model as our research shows it will make it easier to sell in Asean countries and other international markets, as there are no language barriers to overcome,” he told reporters at the preview of the new SUV in Kuala Lumpur today.
Proton chief executive officer Li Chunrong said Proton's adoption of the new naming system would make customers more focused on the brand name as compared with the model name.
Abdul Rashid, who is also the chief executive officer of Proton Edar Sdn Bhd, the distribution arm of Proton, said the SUV would open for booking tomorrow at all Proton 3S and 4S centres with a fee of RM1,000.
However, he declined to reveal the retail price of the X70.
Li said a series of customer events, spanning seven cities, would be held from September 19 to November 4, to promote the vehicle before the SUV is launched at year-end.
"Our plan is to reach nearly 6,000 people but that is only a small portion of the potential buyers we are targeting," he said.
Meanwhile, on the SUV market, Abdul Rashid said the local SUV market still lagged behind regional and international markets in terms of SUV contributions to total industry volume (TIV).
He said SUV only contributed about 11 percent of the local TIV compared with 15 percent in Asean, and 34 percent globally.
In the international market, he said SUV accounted for 40 per cent of TIV in both China and North America.