Next month Proton will unveil its turnaround plan, aimed at increasing income streams and sales.
“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,” said company adviser Dr. Mahathir.
Therefore, Proton, owned by DRB-Hicom since 2012, plans to manufacture globally-competitive vehicles and become a tough rival for foreign automakers, which currently have a significant part of Malaysia’s automotive industry. According to Dr. Mahathir, Proton is focused on becoming a global automaker, from a merely local company.
“Moving forward, it is going to be challenging, and it will be difficult. Competition is going to get harder and tougher, cost will be higher and this also applies to Proton,” said DRB-Hicom managing director Datuk Seri Mohd Khamil Jamil.
Currently Proton produces almost 150,000 units annually and plans to reach 500,000 units in the following five years, mainly from the export market. The automaker exports vehicles in 55 countries and plans to increase the export number to surpass the current 20,000 units. The first market aimed by DRB-Hicom is Australia, because of the positive prospects of selling Proton vehicles there, flowed by Thailand, where it will introduce the Exora model and Indonesia.