The newly launched 2020 Proton X70 CKD garnered a lot of attention due to its enhanced features and most importantly lower price tag. However, some netizens were harping on the fact that the improved 2020 X70 CKD is not the Geely Boyue Pro.
Well for starters, to introduce a new design on a model that’s only been on the market for a little over a year does not make business sense in the automotive industry. The X70 is still fresh to the market and is not due for a model revamp just yet.
However, if you’re not satisfied with that answer, allow us to break it down to you why the Geely Boyue Pro did not make its way to Malaysia as the 2020 X70 CKD.
What is the Geely Boyue Pro?
The Boyue Pro was announced in July 2019 but only went on sale in China in September. It’s being sold alongside the regular Boyue and exists as a separate model in Geely’s line up.
The Boyue Pro a more luxurious and high-tech version of the regular Boyue hence it gets the updated 1.8-litre turbo, 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT), revised styling and the latest generation GKUI19 (Geely Smart Ecosystem) operating system.
Technically speaking, the Boyue Pro is not a Boyue facelift, it’s a higher-end version of the same car. The two Boyues are a little like the Apple iPad and iPad Pro – same same, but the latter is a little bit more premium with better technologies.
Hence the two models are sold concurrently in China but at different price points:
- 2020 Geely Boyue: RMB 88,800 – 119,800 (RM 56k – 71k)
- 2020 Geely Boyue Pro: RMB 98,800 – 156,800 (RM 58k – 93k)
What’s so special about the Boyue Pro?
Separating the Boyue Pro from a regular model includes a revised headlamp and taillamp graphics, restyled bumpers along with new wheel design.
On higher grade models, the interior is furnished with a 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster similar to the ones seen on Volvo models, paddle shifters, 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system and some revised trimmings here and there.
But the highlight of the Boyue Pro is the new GKUI19 operating system that works like your AI personal assistant (think Google Home). It can be linked up to control various smart devices (from Xiaomi, Baidu, JD.com) allowing drivers to control these smart appliances from their Boyue Pro’s infotainment system.
It even has a built-in karaoke box, what?!
Sounds amazing! So why Malaysians can’t have it?
Well, we simply do not have the infrastructure to support these new technologies. Never mind the limited internet quota, the biggest issue is that the smart ecosystem is very much China-centric.
The GKUI19 can only be at its full potential using applications developed by Geely’s strategic technology partners such as Baidu and Tencent. These applications and its functionalities are developed for the Chinese market with limited coverage/access for overseas markets.
It would be costly for Geely and Proton by extension, to redevelop a localised version of the applications and offer app support specifically for the Malaysia market.
Just take a look at the Proton X70 CKD’s built-in Baidu Navigation and you’ll see what I mean. The points of interest, traffic information and route selection algorithm are not as powerful as Google Maps.
But there is still a possibility in the future, if…
Not so much of an if but when Proton sells a high enough volume of the X70, there is a possibility of having the Boyue Pro to be made available in the future. Only with enough sales numbers, Proton is able to put forward a business case for the Boyue Pro.
There is also the challenge of adapting the functionalities of the GKUI19 to suit our local market which is predominantly on Google and Apple applications.
Ultimately Malaysians didn’t lose out by not getting the Boyue Pro. The current 2020 Proton X70 CKD is already a very high-tech and capable SUV with built-in 4G internet connectivity, intelligent voice command as well as the same powertrain as the Boyue Pro, only further enhanced with new features and lower price tag.