For a few decades now, Proton, which was established in 1983, has been our national car brand. However, a business deal took place last year that saw a China company, Zhejiang Geely, acquiring a 49.9% stake in Proton. When that happened, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wasn’t very pleased. He emphasised that Malaysia has lost a national brand, and that the move meant Proton was now a foreign brand.
With Tun M being our Prime Minister now, the man is ready to make some changes about this. But no, he has no intention of buying Proton back from Geely. Instead, he’s going to create another national car brand.
“Our ambition is to start another national car, perhaps with the help of partners from Southeast Asia like Thailand, Japan or Korea, as they have the capacity to produce good quality cars saleable in the world market,” he said while attending a conference in Tokyo.
As Proton drops in popularity over the past 15 years compared to other brands such as Perodua and Honda, a new national car brand can certainly shake things up. And we hope the prices will be competitive too!