1. Vinnan's opinion
2. Jared's opinion
3. River's opinion
The opinions by Vinnan, Jared and River are indeed special. I hope everyone learns from there and clear all misunderstandings about race relations and Proton.
I would like to sincerely reply to a specific comment made by my friend Vijendran on Facebook about Proton.
Of course the Ford cars are cheap in US. Many cars are retailing at USD10,000 which is what we pay for our Proton Saga.
However, we do not have the money to buy patented technology or invest billions of USD in Proton's R&D.
Ford invested USD 8 billion in 2007. Daimler invested USD 7.3 billion. I wonder how much Proton invested. Ford faced losses of billions of dollars especially in 2006.
No problem! Americans say we support you!
Imagine if Proton invests USD1 billion and make losses of USD10 million. Malaysians will say, SHUT DOWN! BUY FORD!
Do you really think Proton leaders do not want to sell their cars to 80% of the globe? Of course they do. But money is a big problem. Proton does not have a safety net like Ssangyong, GM, Ford, Daimler etc.
Whenever Proton faces problems, people tell them to shut down. Sales are bad even since 1980s. Yet we persevere and manage to accumulate RM2 billion in cash reserves (I think it has disappeared), own a production plant in Tanjung Malim, bought and sold the controversial MV Augusta, and still own the luxury sportscar Lotus Group.
Proton's birth is not a bad idea. It is the birthplace of Proton that is bad. Malaysians are not like Japanese, Australians or Americans who are so patriotic and constantly support their products.
Malaysians hate their own people and their own identity projects like Proton, Sepang F1, KLCC and the KLIA.
Please do not get me wrong. I am not saying Proton is such a beautiful company. I am actually sick and tired of Malaysians who tend to criticise and generalise something tainted as bad.
A bad durian still has good flesh to offer. Not everything is bad. All we need to do is to chop off the bad part and keep the good part.
I beg all Malaysians to give Proton Persona a try. My dad has just received a new piece of this machine from his company.
The interior bears similarities with the Toyota Camry Sportivo range, although not as grand and as beautiful. Similarities do exist.
The quality of Proton Waja and Persona can really be accepted. Having said these, I have to agree that export versions of Proton are of better quality.
My dad used to drive an export edition of the Proton Wira. I agree that is better. I am not sure why Proton has two sides to the production and sales policy.
Does that warrant a closure of Proton's plants and operations? No, my dear Malaysians.
Ford lost USD12 billion in 2006, and another USD 2-3 billion in 2007 if I am not mistaken. Yet, Ford is supported by Americans and the US Government.
When Proton loses RM50 million, Malaysians tell Proton to shut down. Actually if we compare level of investment and sales, Proton deserves more support.
Honestly, if we sit down and think about our daily lives, Malaysians like to shut down Malaysian made goods and purchase Chinese, American, Japanese and British goods. That is actually bad because we need to pay other people from other countries for the goods.
If one day, people from my generation manage to turn Proton into a world class carmaker, I wonder how many of those who have criticised Proton will turn up at the Proton car dealers' steps to catch a glimpse of the new machines with intentions to purchase one.
Let us learn like the Japanese. Do not praise the West and say their systems are so good. Those are just the Macro views. If we look closer, the people's sense of patriotism and attitude actually contributes to the successes of their nations.
Malaysians keep on praising the systems of the Japanese, the West and even Singapore. But Malaysians do not have mirrors to look at themselves. Are they willing to be like them?
We will never achieve anything, unless we change our attitudes. How can a building stand tall and mighty if its pillars and foundations are not strong?
That, we have to ask Malaysians. More to come about Proton from the Engineering perspective, provided by a reader.
Please read: Big Three auto CEOs flew private jets to ask for taxpayer money
(Credits to Proton and Skyscrapercity for the photos.)