This is another attempt to revive Proton by Muhyiddin. As it stands the future is bleak for Proton and a saviour is required to pull back the car company slowly disintegrating into oblivion.
25 years ago, people clamoured for Proton cars, then it was a national car, cheap, foreign cars had a high tax making it unaffordable, and people felt good that Malaysia is advancing in the automobile industry. All those good feelings have gone into thin air over the years. The quality of the local car is bad, Proton never did improve, and many who bought a Proton vowed not to go near the car again.
Even after 25 years Proton is unable to produce a car without minor defects like rattling in the dash board, faulty windows, odd noise coming from somewhere, and cheap materials being used. Where once every other car was a Proton, this trend is changing, and seeing a Proton may be a sight to see in the future.
Proton was depending on the nationalistic feeling of people to get orders, but once bitten twice shy, people just don’t trust Proton anymore.
Muhyiddin should just stop talking of overseas markets, Thailand was a late starter, but now they control supply to Asean countries. At one point of time, Proton cars were exported to England, and the quality was enhanced to meet European standards, some years back I was offered a Proton returned from England and I did not accept the offer, and went for a Japanese car.
The deal with Volkswagen nearly went through, but there were concerns the local bosses of Proton would lost out, and a foreign partner would control the company. The same old story of cronyism, family connections, came into play, and siting that Volkswagen wanted 51% partnership, the deal was called off. It was the decision of Proton chaps who will miss out if they can’t dictate how the company is to be run. Volkswagen knows what they are in for.
This zero defect sales is a dupe, as long as sub-standard materials are used in the car; it will take a long time before consumers can be comfortable in buying a Proton car.
Only today the papers announced that the Terengganu government considers, Proton Perdana as unsafe and difficult to maintain, and they are switching to Mercedes cars. Muhyiddin should speak to the Mentri Besar so as to salvage the name of Proton.