Proton, or Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Berhad, was established in 1983 as Malaysia’s first and, for a time, the only car manufacturer. Initiated by then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, Proton aimed to accelerate Malaysia’s industrialization capabilities. With its first car, the Proton Saga, launched in 1985, Proton quickly became a symbol of Malaysian pride and industrial achievement.


The Evolution of the Proton Logo

The Proton logo has evolved from its original depiction of a crescent and a fourteen-pointed star, reflecting the Malaysian flag and symbolizing the country’s aspirations and unity. The most recent redesign simplifies the logo to a more stylized, modern representation, focusing on a shield and a tiger emblem, which signify strength, agility, and Malaysian heritage.


Pivotal Moments in Proton’s History

1985: Launch of the Proton Saga, Malaysia’s first domestically produced car, which received a warm reception from the Malaysian public.
1996: Introduction of the Proton Wira, a key model that enjoyed international success and helped expand Proton’s export markets.
2000s: Proton acquires Lotus Group International Limited, a strategic move that enhanced its engineering and automotive design capabilities.
2012: DRB-HICOM acquires a majority stake in Proton, leading to significant restructuring and a focus on improving quality and competitiveness.
2017: Geely Holding Group acquires a 49.9% stake in Proton, marking a new era of collaboration and development for the brand, including the launch of new models like the Proton X70, the brand’s first SUV.

Areas of Specialization and Innovation

Proton specializes in designing and manufacturing affordable and reliable vehicles suited to the needs and preferences of Malaysian and international customers. The brand has expanded its lineup to include sedans, hatchbacks, and SUVs, focusing on incorporating advanced technology, improved safety features, and better fuel efficiency. Through its partnership with Geely, Proton has access to new platforms and technologies, allowing it to enhance its product offerings and competitiveness in the global market.


Key Information about Proton

Founded: 1983
Headquarters: Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
Notable Models: Proton Saga, Proton Wira, Proton X70
Website: Proton

Proton’s journey from a national car project to a competitive player in the global automotive market showcases its resilience and adaptability. The brand continues to evolve, focusing on innovation, quality improvement, and international expansion, while staying true to its roots as a symbol of Malaysian industrial ambition.