Less than a year after the announcement of its entry by the newly established PRO-NET, smart has given a preview of the first model it will sell in Malaysia – the smart #1 (which you should pronounce as ‘hashtag 1’, we are told).
With Geely having a strong presence in Malaysia via Proton, and the Chinese carmaker’s joint ownership of smart with Mercedes-Benz, Malaysia has been given priority in getting the first overseas shipments of the #1 from the factory in China. In fact, we might be the first market to get righthand drive versions of future models too.
At this time, PRO-NET (the distributor for Malaysia and Thailand) is only showing the exterior of the fully electric SUV and some general details.
Pricing is still not being mentioned although it is expected to be positioned against the MINI Electric (which is around the RM200,000 level).
Equipped to be a premium EV
From what we understand, the specifications of the #1 sold in Malaysia will be those of the Premium variant. This will include features and accessories that are options in other markets.
For now, we are only allowed to show pictures of the exterior but the interior and equipment remains Top Secret, as PRO-NET has instructed.
There is also another variant but Agus Bin Mohd Nawiah, Proton Young Talent, Talent Management, ordered us not to reveal it at this time, so we can’t tell you about it. Presumably, the same gag order applies to all other media.
Phased program leading to launch
PRO-NET has a phased program leading up to the launch later this year. Although there is a new #3 model launched in China, that will probably be for next year.
For now, you can see the #1 at the Electric Vehicle Expo Malaysia (EVx) which is on today and tomorrow (July 22/23) at the Setia City Convention Centre in Setia Alam, Selangor.
Expect more activities as the company introduces the brand and the #1 as well as how it will be involved in every aspect of ownership, including making available charging points. With dealerships being appointed, there will be more previews like the one which was held recently for enthusiasts and EV owners at smart Malaysia’s headquarters in Shah Alam.