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What’s happening to Proton?

10 June, 2007

Is this going to be end of Proton? Is it facing a slow death if the solution is not found quickly?

Back in the old days when the then Malaysia’s PM Datuk Seri Mahathir Mohammed wanted to introduce car manufacturing, many wanted to disagree on many grounds. But they can only disagree in principle. Being the PM, Mahathir can just overrule those who differed in opinions with him. He was in total confidence that his baby, Proton, would meet with flying colours.

However as we see it today Proton could not sustain its lead in the car sales locally and abroad. One of the reasons why Proton is slowly sliding down the market share is due to undue neglect of its quality control. In those days there were no local competitors to push Proton to where it should be. There was no undue pressure for Proton to be on its toes all the time. Now, especially, with the advent of AFTA coupled with some good local competitors, Proton is still seen to be just like in the old days dreaming away its ambition without giving some effort to improve the quality of its cars.

Many have been complaining every now and then that Proton had produced comparatively low quality cars as compared to what it used to produce in those initial years of its operations.

When I bought my new Wira almost 2 years back, it had given me more problems than my old 1991 Proton Saga.

Amongst others, there was this rattling sound of the exhaust pipe at certain rpm, over-sensitive reverse sensor, intermittent current flow of the spark plug cable, jammed brake light switch, burning oil smell under the bonnet, frequent blown-out roof light to mention a few. Can you just imagine these type of problems happening to a car less than 2 years old? And you call that a quality car?

The management members at Proton should sit down and think hard as to why such problems still exist after having been in the industry for more than 20 years. Quality should improve with time and not the other way round.

Those whoever are involved with the running of Proton, be it directly or indirectly, please forget about your own interest first. Please do not think of getting rich quick. When you put your interest first, the organization’s objectives would never be fulfilled because you would never be working for the company.

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