Blog: Dave LeggettJumbuck

Dave Leggett | 27 June 2003

Jumbuck? Sounds like it could be the name of a character in a kids' tale. An imaginary creature with extraordinary powers perhaps. I am looking at a picture of a Jumbuck and wondering where the people at Proton got the name for a car-derived pick-up that could well be a hit. The car is a Wira cut in half with a flat-bed added and I have to say, it looks the part (Proton's in-house engineers and designers, Lotus, did the design job). It is being priced aggressively too - in base model Daihatsu Hijet/Suzuki Carry territory. I'd have a Jumbuck over those two boneshakers any day.

In Europe, the small car-derived van segment is virtually gone, suggesting either that there is no real demand for these vehicles or that there is a gap in the market. If it's the latter Jumbuck will have the market to itself. Proton is apparently aiming to tap two sources of demand - the traditional small business builder/tradesman customer on the one hand, and the 'lifestyle' customer (you know - bicycles and surfboards etc) on the other. Could be a clever move by Proton; if the market fails to emerge in Europe, they won't exactly have spent a fortune on Jumbuck. I wonder how it may do in Asia?

POST-SCRIPT - You learn something new every day and isn't Google a wonderful thing? (apparently Jumbuck has been on sale in Australia for much of this year):

jum·buck (jmbk) n. Australian. A sheep. [Australian pidgin, perhaps from Kamilaroi (Aboriginal language of southeast Australia) dhimba.]

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