Proton was established in 1983 as Malaysia’s sole national badged car company until the advent of Perodua in 1993. There’s no one in Malaysia who doesn’t know about Proton when it comes to local car brands. However, as a Malaysian, how much do you really know about Proton?
Here are some fun facts about Proton that you probably do not know until you read this article!
1. Proton is short for Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional, which roughly translates to national automotive enterprise/company.
2. Proton Saga was born in a village in Perak to proud parents Kelambu and Jamilah, around 30+ years ago when our country was about to roll out our first manufactured car, the Proton Saga.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Proton and Honda Malaysia have collaborated to share technology enhancements, new product lineup, platform and facilities.
7. 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.
8. Proton exports to over twenty-six countries all over the world. The key export market include Australia, Singapore, the Far East and the UK.
9. Proton succeeded in extreme heat and cold tests in Oman deserts and the freezing winters of North and South Poles. This proves that Proton cars have the extraordinary ability to perform under extreme temperatures!
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. 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.
12. Proton Persona is beloved in Egypt and members gather to form motorcades on a semi-regular basis. This group consists of all fans and owners of Proton cars in Egypt who have a common passion for their Protons!
13. Proton Impian is used by the UK police in Humberside for general patrol and by IRT (Incident 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.
14. Proton Preve and Proton Suprima S have managed to achieve a full five-star rating in ANCAP (Australasian New Car Assessment Program) which is Australia’s leading independent vehicle safety advocate.
15. Proton Preve also attained first placing 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.
16. 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.
17. Did you know that the Proton Iswara was prominently featured in Mr Bean? To end the list with a good laugh, check out this scene where Mr Bean gets a golf ball stuck in the Proton’s exhaust pipe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQo_2E8EHrQ
Hope you learnt some interesting fun facts about our national brand, Proton today!