The Jumbuck is set for a crash test by the Australian New Car Assessment Program. Proton Car Australia managing director John Startari admits to being a little perplexed by the decision to test a vehicle that is close to the end of its sales life here, having been on sale here since early 2003.
"I found it a bit strange they'd be testing a car in run-out, it wasn't done in conjunction with us, but I don't know why they selected it when we have newer models to test."
"I know that it passed all the ADR requirements for the area that it was imported under, it complies with all the rules of today, it hasn't been tested for NCAP," he says.
Startari says he'd be as surprised as everyone else with the ANCAP crash test result for the little utility but couldn't nominate a star rating estimate. "It won't be a five—star car though, no airbags and the like, it still has to pass the ADR tests and it did that without airbags, but I have no idea what star rating it will get."
"Jumbuck was launched in 2002, and designed five or six years earlier than that, so NCAP wasn't really on their mind then, maybe other brands being introduced without airbags has had something to do with it, maybe they want to be seen as impartial but it really doesn't make sense to me," he said.
The country's cheapest utility is well into run-out now and Startari says a decision is yet to be made on its replacement. "It's in run-out now — it's the last car we have on the old Mitsubishi technology, it's been around since 2002, but the platform has been around since the 1990s.
"The Jumbuck has served us well here … it's been a great car for us in Australia. Proton is looking at replacements — they're just deciding which way they're going to go." ANCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh says the Jumbuck crash test was part of a focus on light—commercial vehicles, in particular utilities.
"We've bought one and we're going to test it, they're still being sold. We're testing a few utes at the moment, we've got a focus on commercial vehicles generally and the Jumbuck is part of that group," he says.