Proton logoThai Summit Autoparts Industry’s executive vice president Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit said in Bangkok today that although Thailand and Malaysia took different routes to develop their automotive industry, both were successful in their own ways.

He also added that the Malaysian government should continue supporting Proton as it had become crucial to the backbone of various industries here such as autoparts, steel, and petrochemicals. He claims that without Proton, industries will collapse and thousands of people will become unemployed.

He thinks that a self-developed automaker is viable and said that if he could have made a decision 30 years ago, he would have gone for an ASEAN car for the Thai auto industry rather than a national car, as the Thai market is just too small to sustain its own car. But now its not possible anymore as the window of opportunity is closed, he admitted.