Kuala Lumpur: Proton Holdings Berhad is a local automobile manufacturer of Malaysia. It was established in 1983 as the sole national car company and was followed by Perodua in 1993. Proton has its headquarter in Shah Alam, Selangor along with an additional manufacturing plant in Tanjung Malim, Perak. Formerly it was owned by Khazanah Nasional, an investment holding arm of the government of Malaysia, but in January 2012 it was overtaken with a price tag of RM1.2 billion by DRB-HICOM which is a Malaysian conglomerate.
Initially, Proton was reliant on its domestic market only but now it operates in at least twenty-six countries, out of which majority are in Asia. It was largely a manufacturer of badge engineered vehicles from Mitsubishi Motors between 1985 and 2000. The product line-up of Proton includes Iriz, Suprima S, Preve, Exora SP, Saga Plus, Inspira, Persona and Satria Neo. Talking about Proton, we always thought that we knew everything about this national automaker until we discovered the following lesser known facts about it.
1. Proton has been tested in extreme temperatures and it succeeded in both the conditions. It has gone through the extreme heat of Oman deserts and has also beared the freezing winters of North and South poles.
2. Proton's Tanjung Malim plant was featured on Discovery Channel and was called 'The most advanced modern car plant'. This state-of-the-art plant named as Proton City was constructed in 2005, spread over 1280 acres.
3. Proton Perve and Proton Suprima S has managed to achieve a full five-star rating in ANCAP (Australasian New Car Assessment Program) which is Australia's leading independent vehicle safety advocate.
4. Proton exports to over twenty-six countries all over the world. The key export market include Australia, Singapore, the Far East and the UK.
5. Egypt has got one of the largest Proton Persona fan clubs in the world. This group consists of all fans and owners of Proton cars in Egypt who have a common passion for their Protons.
6. Miss Olivia Wells, Miss Universe Australia 2013 became the brand ambassador of Proton. Proton Australia was also the gold sponsor for the Miss Universe Australia competition.
7. Proton Impian is used by the UK police in Humberside for general patrol and by IRT (Incedent Response Teams). The Humberside Police also won the top award in National Energy Efficiency Awards as most Protons are dual fuel which run on both LPG and unleaded petrol.
8. Proton has adopted various technologies from Lotus vehicle dynamics and uses its engineering and handling. Proton has gained a lot of valuable engineering knowledge from Lotus and some of its cars have also featured Lotus-tuned suspension.
9. Proton is the only Muslim country automaker and the only full-fledged original equipment manufacturer in South-East Asia that designs, developes and manufactures their own cars.
10. Around the world, the Proton car prices are determined by the respective country's vehicle import taxes. According to the data provided by Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), the Malaysians were paying more for their Protons because of high taxes.
11. Proton Preve attained the first position in the 1000 km Endurance Race in Sepang in the year 2014. Driven by Tengku Djan Ley and Syafiq Ali, it completed 181 laps to be declared as the winner.
12. Proton uses the German technology of Hot Press Forming (HPF). This technology provides better protection and higher body and structural rigidity without compromising on the overall body weight of the car. It also increases the strength of the car by three times.
13. Proton and Honda Malaysia have collaborated to share technology enhancements, new product lineup, platform and facilities.
14. Proton R3 Waja won the first ever Goodyear Formula Drift Malaysia. It was driven by Malaysia's Tengku Djan and defeated 54 others from across the Asia-Pacific