Perusahaan Automobil Nasional or more commonly known as Proton ranked 2nd on the Top 10 best car brands in Malaysia for 2009. The total units sold in 2009 was 148, 031, around 28.6 percent. Established in 1983, it was a joint venture between Malaysian car maker and Mitsubishi Corporation.
Proton Saga, Malaysia’s first local branded car
With the latest technologies from Mitsubishi Motors, the first Malaysian car Proton Saga was launched in 1985. When the model was first launched in Malaysia, most of the components were manufactured by Mitsubishi. After a while, the car were manufactured and produced locally. It was a milestone for Proton to have the first Malaysian car produced locally.
Over the years, Proton has produced various models to suit customers’ demands and needs. The models that have been produced are Proton Wira, Proton Satria, Proton Perdana, Proton Tiara, Proton Waja, Proton Gen-2, Proton Savvy, Proton Persona and the first local MPV, Proton Exora.
First MPV designed by Malaysian
Malaysia’s first MPV, Proton Exora was launched on April 15, 2009. This spacious MPV that comes together with various features is definitely value for money. Using Campro CPS Engine, the car can accommodate seven individuals.
Exora is well-known among the locals as it is the first MPV designed and developed entirely in Malaysia. It was indeed as turning point for the car maker to become a famous manufacturer in the world. This is because there was a rising need for MPVs in Malaysia with a lot of customer preference looking for larger and more fuel-efficient vehicles.
The Exora was launched at a very good time as there was still a lot of vehicle owners who still preferred Proton as their first choice.
Car is considered a luxury item. Since all Proton models come with competitive prices, one do not have to worry about hard negotiations. Buying a Proton car is a good investment for those who seek to own a safe and quality car.
It was reported then that only 11 countries from the total of 146 World Trade Organization members are entitled to design and develop vehicles up to par with the latest and advanced technology. Malaysia became the 11th country to develop, design and manufacture cars entirely in the country in 2002. Apart from that, Proton has also gained acceptance and global reputation for the collaboration with Lotus.
Significant Partnerships with other automobile brands
The partnership with Mitsubishi was one of the most important ones for Proton. It started the whole cycle of rolling-out the Malaysian brand at the start. This included sourcing parts, engines, vehicle platforms and a lot of technical expertise. This saw the production of models like the Proton Saga, Iswara, Satria and the extremely successful Proton Wira.
Later in 1994, Proton started working with Citroen which saw the launching of the Proton Tiara which was a rebadged version of the Citroen AX. This however did not last long as the model was sold only for 4 years.
The Proton Gen-2 and Persona models were the result of the collaboration with Youngman which have been quite successful. In 2014, Proton entered into another joint-collaboration and this time it was to be Honda. This saw the launching of a rebadged Honda Accord which would then become the new Perdana version. It started with the model produced for the government before it was made available for the public.
The latest development saw Proton joining Subrin to venture into the hybrid and electric cars segment. In the last few years, Proton has since launched several high-performance models including the Proton Preve and the Proton Suprima.