20 August 2004

Proton will start selling its new Gen-2 five-door hatchback in the UK this winter – but the Malaysian company last week shut the door on a future deal with Rover, saying it has ended all negotiations.A brief statement said that any collaboration, which could have spawned a Roverised Gen-2 to replace the 25 (right), was ‘not viable’ and had ended. The news leaves Rover’s new-car strategy with another problem.

As we reveal in this week's magazine, MG Rover had earmarked a rebadged version of the Proton as a stopgap replacement for the 25 supermini, plugging the void between the expiry of its current crop of cars and the arrival of the its all-important RD/X60, or new mid-range vehicle, in 2006. Now that Proton has ruled that out, Longbridge is faced with an even longer and more drawn-out wait, and will have to come up with other ways to make its ageing products profitable. The Gen-2 is Proton’s Focus rival and is designed to revive the brand which sold just 1861 cars last year in the UK. It goes on sale in September with prices from £8995 for a 109bhp 1.6 GL with twin front airbags, alarm/immobiliser, air-con, electric windows, parking sensors and CD player.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Honda Civic
    Car review
    21 April 2017
    Honda’s 10th-generation Civic hatchback goes global — but is that good news?
  • Toyota Prius Plug-in
    First Drive
    21 April 2017
    Second-generation Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid gets a bigger battery with new 39-mile electric range, more tech and styling updates, but it's expensive
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 EcoTSI 150 DSG
    First Drive
    20 April 2017
    Addition of DSG automatic gearbox in this top-spec model doesn't show the Ateca small SUV in its best light
  • Isuzu D-Max Blade
    First Drive
    20 April 2017
    Isuzu treats its rough-and-ready D-Max pick-up truck to a new engine, revised looks, better hauling ability and more equipment
  • MG ZS
    First Drive
    19 April 2017
    We drive MG’s upcoming Ford Ecosport rival in China-spec; good looks and a smart interior bode well for the UK version