Malaysia is a country which have national car manufacturer which is Proton (Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional) and Perodua (Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua). So here KDI wants to bring a new topic to be discussed, IMPORTED CARS or NATIONAL CARS (Proton & Perodua) ? We eager to know what is your opinion on the topic and why you choose the car.
Most of Malaysian like to buy national cars because of it is affordable compare to imported cars like Nissan, Honda, Toyota and Mitsubishi. This is due to the imported cars have high tax applied to each model. Let say, if all the imported cars in Malaysia did not have any tax under the AFTA, which the price is lower, what is your opinion? Can Proton or Perodua compete with this situation?
IMPORTED CARS VS NATIONAL CARS (PROTON & PERODUA)
Here i would like to share some of the history of our national car maker Proton and Perodua:
Based on technology and parts from Mitsubishi Motors, production of the first model, the Proton Saga began in September 1985 at its first manufacturing plant in Shah Alam, Selangor. Initially the components of the car were entirely manufactured by Mitsubishi but slowly local parts were being used as technologies were transferred and skills were gained. The 100,000th Proton Saga was produced in January 1989.
Until the end of the 1990s, the car’s logo featured the crest from Malaysia’s coat of arms, featuring a crescent and a fourteen-pointed star. The new Proton logo features a stylized tiger head. In 1993, a model called Proton Wira was introduced based on the Mitsubishi Lancer/Colt. More than 220,000 units were sold between 1996 and 1998. Proton Perdana, based on the Mitsubishi Galant/Eterna, was first produced in 1995, intended for higher end market. The Proton Waja (Proton Impian in UK), which launched early 2001, is the first car model designed internally by Proton.
By 2002 Proton held a market share of over 60% in Malaysia, which was reduced to barely 30% by 2005 and is expected to reduce further in 2008 when AFTA mandates reduce import tariffs to a maximum of 5%.
The current Proton logo, in text form.With the acquisition of Lotus technologies in 1996 from ACBN Holdings (a company owned by the owner of Bugatti), Proton has gained an additional source of engineering and automotive expertise. This led to the production of Proton Gen-2 which was code name Wira Replacement Model (WRM) before the launch. The Gen-2 is the first of cars to be manufactured and assembled at the new manufacturing plant in Tanjung Malim, Perak which is part of Proton City development project. The plant was opened in 2004. On 8 June 2005 Proton introduced the second model to be manufactured in Tanjung Malim, the 1,200 cc 5-door supermini, the Proton Savvy. Both the Gen-2 and Savvy, were models that MG Rover was looking to rebadge when the British firm entered into collaboration talks with Proton. However these joint-venture talks were unsuccessful and MG Rover subsequently collapsed.
In 2007, Proton launch its new sedan as replacement version for Wira Sedan but with new name, Persona. The new Proton Saga replacement model (codename Proton BLM) was launched on 18 January 2008. The new Saga is based on the Savvy platform, but using Campro 1.3L instead of Renault engine. It was announced on August 8, 2008 that Proton is developing a new, fuel-efficient hybrid car to beat rising costs and address environmental concerns. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi told reporters that he had already test-driven the car and urged the company to continue researching energy-saving techonologies.
As of 3 August 2008, Proton has produced 3 million cars since 1985, where the 3 millionth car is a second-generation Saga.
The Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Berhad (English: Second Automobile Manufacturer Limited Corporation), usually abbreviated to Perodua , is Malaysia’s second automobile manufacturer after Proton. It was established in 1993 and launched their first car, the Perodua Kancil in late 1994. The shareholders of Perodua are UMW Corporation Sdn Bhd with 38% stake, Daihatsu Motor Co. Ltd. (20%), MBM Resources Bhd (20%), PNB Equity Resources Corporation Sdn Bhd (10%), Mitsui & Co. Ltd (7%) and Daihatsu (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (5%).]
Perodua mainly produces small-compact cars and therefore does not actually compete with Proton for the same market niche. In the United Kingdom their cars are sold by some Proton dealers who wish to attract customers seeking a smaller and cheaper alternative to the Proton range. Sales numbers in the UK are extremely small however, and in 2008 Perodua sold only 624 cars (down from 914 in 2002) and insignificant compared to 2008 figures of 28,036 for Hyundai, 29,397 for SEAT. Besides the UK and Singapore, Perodua also exports their cars to Mauritius, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Cyprus, Malta, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Nepal and Fiji in small numbers by local dealers.
Perodua does not actually produce any in house designs or engineering for the main components (i.e engine, transmission). All Perodua cars are badge engineered from Daihatsu. Daihatsu used to own a majority stake in Perodua. In 2004, the Toyota Avanza started being assembled by Perodua in their factory in Rawang for the Malaysian market.
So, generally, what would be the reason people choosing imported cars compare to national cars or on the other hand? Is it because the imported cars didn’t have any problem? Imported cars more high tech? Imported cars looks good? Imported cars makes you looks rich? Maybe there is something needs to be considered for Proton and Perodua to compete with other car brand instead of lower price. Lets discuss about it here.