August 29, 2008
By ROBIN ROBERTS
THE British importer of Malaysian-made Proton cars is offering a manufacturer backed LPG version of its GEN-2 at the same price as its standard petrol models.The LPG 'ecologic' versions of Proton's popular mid-sized saloon and five-door hatchback will be joined later by Satria and Savvy models.
With LPG costing half that of petrol and a national network of fuelling stations for the gas, Proton believes the choice will be very attractive to drivers who need to cut their costs but want petrol-like performance.
Conversion to the LPG system is done by Proton technicians at their new Avonmouth import centre near Bristol and takes about 10 hours, but the additional work does not carry a price premium and the gas-powered cars cost the same as their petrol equivalents, from pounds 9,000 to pounds 10,800.
The conversion sees the spare wheel and tyre replaced with a doughnut shaped LPG tank and modifications to the car's ECU and fuel injection, plus the fitting of a console switch and filler pipe.
A new boot floor is fitted and a tyre foam inflation canister provided.
Proton general manager for sales and marketing Simon Park said: "The price of petrol is becoming quite a problem for some motorists and various companies offer LPG conversions, but no-one is currently offering a manufacturer converted LPG model so we are moving into this market."
The new 100,000 square foot UK headquarters is on 4.5 acres which includes on-site training centre, finance, dealer support and the company can handle 1,000 new cars a month and refurbishes to retail standard its own demonstration fleet, so order to delivery is cut to about three days.
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