Established in 1983 Proton was and still is the first automotive manufacturer in Malaysia. The name proton comes from the Malaysian acronym that basically put means the national auto enterprise. Heavily influenced and in some cooperation by and with Mitsubishi motors they made their first vehicle and released it in 1985. It was called the Proton Saga and was a very well sold car into the 90’s, with car 100k being sold in late 1989.Other cars they have made since that time are also influenced and based on Mitsubishi Motors vehicles – however recently a design from their own teams has surfaced and gone into production. Currently the company is struggling because of lifted trade tariffs allowing cheaper imports of other cars.

Proton logo

Initially by 2001 they held a majority of the market share above 60%, however today because of the tariffs being decreased and more imports their market share has fallen below 30%. After the Saga’s launch in 1985 it was soon exported to other countries such as Bangladesh, and a year afterwards a deal to sell them in the United Kingdom emerged. Following this their car won awards in the UK for its outstanding manufacture and finally in 1990 it won another two.

Proton Waja Girl

By the early 90’s they had expanded their facilities with better manufacturing techniques including robotics and automated machines to take the place of expensive and repetitive human jobs – however by doing this more jobs have been created as the output doubled and was a boom to the local economy. After this in 1996 they acquired a majority share in Lotus Cars, a British manufacturing firm for sporting and race cars – along with released three new models of vehicles.

Another note for 1996 is that Proton was now exporting to more than 31 countries worldwide and had begun to more closely manufacture its vehicles to ISO standards – achieving verification in 1998. Most recently Proton bought, and then sold MV Agusta – they bought it for 70 million and sold it for one single Euro.

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