The former prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who since retiring from politics has taken up the advisor role in Proton Holdings Group has called on companies in the sector that there is a need to upgrade and innovate in his keynote address at KLIMS (Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show) 2010.

He said that old models have since ‘disappeared’ as they failed to keep up with the times and the demands of the market. He said that brands, particularly British ones like Austins and Morris, the German Borgward and Studebaker have since vanished and that with so much innovation being fitted into cars today, the ones which would sell well are those with good handling, better speed and the most powerful torque.

And then there are those which are selling to niche markets where the company produces a limited number of units each year. He said that companies will find it hard to survive if they are not able to do well in the global market. Despite the rising qualities of public transport, the demand for personal transport are still very much evident and people are still very much inclined to own their own vehicles. He predicted that the industry will remain strong although there would be lesser players in the future.