Proton plots turnaround plans to transform into a global car company

Posted on: Feb 19, 2013 - 2:00pm IST

Malaysian automaker Proton is getting ready to pursue its ambitious goal of becoming a global automaker.

Proton Exora MPV reports that the company, which came under the ownership of DRB-Hicom, a leading Malaysian corporate firm, is sketching its turnaround plans expected to be unveiled next month. Under the new leadership, the car maker is planning to tap the export markets and multiply sales.

Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, former Malaysian prime minister, an architect of the Malaysian economy and adviser of Proton said “We cannot be always producing cheap cars. If that is the case, we will lose the confidence of Malaysians as it is a general view that cheap cars does not come with quality.”

Dr. M’s statement suggests that Proton is looking to develop globally competitive cars to take on the global auto giants.

Proton’s bid to transform into a global player from a local automaker involves huge costs and challenges. The prime export markets for proton are expected to be Australia, Thailand and Indonesia. The company currently manufactures about 1,50,000 units per year and the number is estimated to increase to 5,00,000 units in the future, with the majority of contribution coming from export markets.

Proton EMAS
The EMAS could a ‘Nano’ to Proton aspiring to spread its wings beyond Malaysia.

The turnaround plan could be presented at the Geneva Motor Show. Proton was reportedly hunting for a local partner in India but the hunt didn’t bear any fruits. The rejigged plan could enable Proton to enter India sometime in the future. After all, the Indian auto market is highly irresistible.

In more ways than one, Tata is on the same track as Proton, trying to put all its lessons to use, and aspiring to produce high-end cars complying to global standards. It will be interesting to see which of these two regional Asian brands eventually turns into a global carmaker.

[Source:; Image – Proton Exora MPV]

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7 thoughts on “Proton plots turnaround plans to transform into a global car company

  1. Sebaik Perhiasan says:

    Ah.. Exora. The space, the speed and the sensational…

  2. Srimanikandhan Appunni says:

    Why would anyone in India want to buy a piece of crap like Proton ?

    Had the misfortune on travelling on a Proton in KL the fit and finish is much to be desired, the panel gaps were uneven, the engine was noisy.

    With that kind of vehicle, Proton has no chance to succeed in India competing against all the various global brands. All the talk of Lotus tuned nonsense won’t work in India.

    For heaven sake do not compare Tata and Proton, Tata is in league of its own.

    1. Manoj Prasad says:

      You must be joking. All of the newer Protons are miles ahead of even the best cars India can offer today. If Proton decides to enter and assemble cars in India, you should expect to see thousands of them on the streets. Tata started long before any Chinese carmaker, and yet they are nowhere near as good as the current Chinese offerings today, let alone Malaysian, Korean or Japanese cars. I’m guessing you’ve travelled in a stripped-down, 10 year old Proton taxi; of course it would be poor, in that case. Drive the new Proton Prevé and Exora, and then we’ll see who’s the real fool here. Please, learn to do your research and save yourself the embarrassment.

      1. Srimanikandhan Appunni says:

        Yah right, Proton and miles ahead you must be kidding. Selling thousands in India, where did you get these numbers ?

        Proton would be also ran in Malaysia had it not been the suttle if not so suttle support by the Malaysian government which has a very high import duty on all “Other” brands.

        Having lived and worked in the US for the last 16 years. And travelling to ASEAN regularly for the last 5 years gives me a good picture of the region as a whole.

  3. Duston says:

    Common Proton, Bring this Exora to India, can give a tough competition for innova

    1. farghmee says:

      i believe the exora need a turbo-diesel to be competitively fight in india.

      in malaysia, the available engines are CPS & CFE. both are petrol driven.

      CFE equipped exora has a breeze drive, 138hp@5k rpm & 205Nm@2k rpm..not to mention the lotus(proton)-tuned chassis.

      1. timmy says:

        the protons have petrol engines in malaysia because petrol is cheaper sure they will think of a diesel engine if they are serious in succeeding in inda…

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About the Author
Nithyanandh K

As a toddler, those wheeled machinery fascinated me even before I knew what they’re called as! So here I'm, petrolhead by birth, Mechanical engineer by qualification and automotive reporter by profession!