Perusahan Otomobil Nasional Berhad (PROTON) was incorporated in May 7, 1983 to manufacture, assemble and sell motor vehicles and related products, including accessories, spare parts and other components. PROTON produced Malaysia’s first car, the Proton Saga, commercially launched on July 9, 1985 by then Malaysian Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Mahathir Mohamed, who had originally conceived the idea of a Malaysian car.
PROTON’s main plant is situated at Shah Alam, with an area of 99, 400 sq m. 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.
The investment into developing research and design capabilities which includes the expertise of PROTON’s wholly-owned subsidiary Lotus Engineering UK, one of the world’s leading automotive engineering consultancy companies, has provided PROTON with an invaluable resource which has helped place the national car company at the forefront of the automotive industry. Proton 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 research and development centre in Malaysia.
The launch of Proton’s new Research and Development facility in 1998 has contributed a most critical activity to the company; innovation in design and creative engineering methods. Consumers can now expect Proton to deliver more unique, stylish and attractively priced cars.
Completed in 2004, a state-of-the-art assembly plant was constructed at Tanjung Malim, 60 miles north of Kuala Lumpur. Its intelligently designed infrastructure of high-precision robotics ensures perfect quality at each and every stage of manufacturing. Capable of 150,000 units per annum on four multi-model production lines, it allows flexibility and rapid response to market demand situations.
This area has been named Proton City and consists of a 500 hectare site containing the factory, plant, housing, a university and other commercial buildings to accommodate component suppliers.
PROTON cars are making their mark internationally as competitive and innovative automobiles. They are now being exported to 50 countries including the highly competitive United Kingdom and continental European markets. With concerted and unswerving commitment from customers, business associates, shareholders, government agencies, and employees, PROTON is realising its goal of being an internationally successful Malaysian automotive manufacturer. It is achieving this by being customer oriented and by producing competitively priced and innovative products.