Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, or Ku Li bashes Proton in this unmarked video interview on 9th July 2005.
He says that Malaysia has no capacity to make cars. This is one case where dreams cannot fuel reality. He mentions UK’s failure with Rover and Australia’s supposed failure with Holden. I disagree. Holden was always part of General Motors from the very beginning. Just that it once made its own cars, but now just mostly does badge reengineering to achieve economies of scale.
He mentions Fiat is also having trouble. Huh? Fiat just celebrated it’s 106th birthday on 11th June. They look fine to me.
Ku Li attributes Proton’s failure to the car market being determined by the giant cartels of the automotive industry. The huge Japanese, American and German car companies total control of the market makes it hard for anyone new to break in.
He gives some history on how Proton came about. I am not sure if its true. Apparently Mitsubishi approached Taiwan to propose to a company be setup there, doing Mitsubishi badge re-engineering. They rejected, so they came to Dr. Mahathir and he accepted the idea.
However, “Proton tak terdaya maju“, he says.
In Rawang, Kuantan, Klang, tens of thousands of unsold Protons are left to rot in stockyards. More and more finance companies are giving 100% loans to Protons. 9 year durations. By the end of 9 years, he comments, the financed Proton would be worth nothing.
He mentioned something which he himself admits is unconfirmed though. He says in foreign markets, Protons are hard or expensive to insure because of it’s crappy safety features. Really? I thought the Waja scored a 3 in European NCAP crash tests? Hmm…
Most of his bashing is to do with the Mitsubishi era of Proton. Nothing about the new batch of cars. Hmm…
Anyway, watch the video yourselves. I have posted it up here for viewing.
Video: Ku Li: “Proton Tak Terdaya Maju”
Edit: I found that the video was posted here before me, so I assume that’s the source of the video. If otherwise, please leave a comment to correct me and I will edit my post to credit the proper source.