Update on Proton contest to name new compact model

Following the end of the ‘Peraduan Nama Siapa Hebat’ contest to name a brand new compact Proton model, the judging panel is now reviewing all the entries received. For an entry to qualify, all names submitted had to be in Bahasa Malaysia containing no more than six letters. The name could be in alphabets or a combination of alphanumeric but could not be entirely composed of numbers. The proposed name could also not have any association with the animal kingdom. Entrants had to provide the rationale for the name submitted.

A shortlist of names will be selected and then, as is normal practice for carmakers, there will need to be trademark searches in Malaysia and globally to determine if the names or similar brand names have been registered as trademarks in countries where Proton exports its vehicles to.

This exercise is important so as to avoid legal problems later on which may require Proton to use a different name in another country where the model is sold. There are also cases where the name in one language may have an undesirable meaning in the main language of another country, so carmakers have also to consider this issue carefully.

In earlier years, Proton had different names (and even a different brand logo) for models sold in Europe. The Wira, for example, was known as ‘Persona’ in the UK and the Satria was simply called the ‘Proton Compact’. The Putra was called a ‘Proton Coupe’ in some places and ‘M21’ in others, while the Arena pick-up was known as the ‘Jumbuck’ in Australia.

Proposal for a compact Proton model developed by Giugiaro - will the new model have ideas from this concept car?

The entrant whose name for the new model is chosen will get a premium version of the car. There will also be prizes for 259 others whose entries made it to the shortlist. The announcement of all the winners will be made at the launch of the new model which will be during the first half of 2014.

[Chips Yap]