Originally conceived by Malaysia's Prime Minister of the day, Dato Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, PROTON Bhd was incorporated on 7th May 1983 with the aim of building a national car. Two years later, On 9th July 1985 the Proton Saga (later known in the UK as the MPI) was officially launched. It was Malaysia's first domestically produced car and is still sold in Malaysia and other countries today.
The original factory plant, covering 99,400 sq m, is situated at Shah Alam near Kuala Lumpur in central Malaysia. The site also houses an engine and transmission factory, a castings plant, R&D centre and a semi-high speed test track. The factory is currently producing 240,000 units per annum.
Opened in 2005; a state-of-the-art assembly plant was constructed at Tanjung Malim, 60 miles north of Kuala Lumpur. This area has been named Proton City and is spread out over 1,280 acres, containing the factory, plant, housing, a university and other commercial buildings to accommodate component suppliers, producing a quarter of a million cars a year.
Proton's total workforce in Malaysia totals just over 6,000 personnel working in all areas of vehicle design, R&D, production and manufacturing. With a solid base built up since 1983, Malaysia's car manufacturing industry is progressing rapidly.
PROTON took a major step forward in upgrading its engineering capabilities when it acquired a share in Lotus Group International in October 1996. This stake was increased to 100% in 2003. Since the acquisition, personnel from Lotus are closely involved in Proton's new model development, with a team of engineers permanently based at the design and development centre in Malaysia.
The company has come a long way since 1983; PROTON was publicly listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange in 1992, and today, PROTON is Malaysias leading automotive manufacturer with over 25 years of innovation and exports to over 25 countries worldwide. Key export markets include Australia, Singapore, the Far East and the UK; where during 2009 it celebrated 20 years in the market place. Today it has over a dozen models in its stable with more than 3 million units sold.
In 2008, we launched the latest iteration of our logo, in conjunction with the rollout of our three millionth car. The new Saga (S16 in Australia) was the first model to use the black and chrome logo.
2012 marked a new phase for PROTON. From a Government-Linked Company, the national car-maker is now a private entity following its takeover by DRB-HICOM Berhad. With DRB-HICOM 's experience as Malaysia's largest manufacturer of automobiles, the company is confident in transforming PROTON and also LOTUS as globally recognised automotive players.
In December 2012, PROTON acquired all engine technologies and knowledge developed by PERTONAS since 1997, a significant milestone which signified more exciting things for PROTON moving forward. With the acquisition, PROTON now have ownership of a more powerful yet fuel efficient family of naturally aspirated and turbo charged 2.0L engines to complement its existing CAMPRO engine lineup.
Today we are constantly seeking progress that drives PROTON as a brand that encompasses not only making the best quality cars but embracing the values that comes with it.
1995 - Wira was launched in Australia (Wira later became known as Persona)
1996 - PROTON Cars Australia Pty Limited was incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary of PROTON Bhd.
1997 - M21 and Satria both launched in Australia.
1999 - Launch of SATRIA GTi in Australia
2001 - Launch of WAJA in Australia
2002 - Launch of Proton Arena (Jumbuck in Australian Market) and WAJA 1.8 by Y.A.B Prime Minister of Malaysia Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohammad
2003 - JUMBUCK was launched in Australia
2004 - GEN.2 launched in Australia
2006 - Proton Savvy is launched in Australia
2007 - PROTON Satria Neo is launched in Australia at the Brisbane Motorshow
2008 - PROTON Persona 2008 launched at the Melbourne Motorshow
2009 - PROTON Launches Australia's Lowest Priced New Car - The S16 sedan
2012 - PROTON Launches Persona Elegance in Australia
2012 - PROTON Launches S16 FLX in Australia
2013 - PROTON Launches Preve in Australia at Sydney Motorshow with 5 Year Performance Guarantee
2013 - PROTON Launches Suprima-S in Australia with 5 Year Performance Guarantee and 5 Years free scheduled service.