In an interview with paultan.org, Proton chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad gave us a rather frank admission of the current state of Proton and its various issues, as well as revealing what the national carmaker plans to do about them.

“We admit that Proton is not doing well. I don’t want to give too many excuses, but there are many reasons,” said the former prime minister.

Mahathir claimed that the company has inherited a detrimental brand perception among the public, especially with regards to quality. He added that the most infamous complaint – power windows not working – still make the rounds, despite the problem not occurring anymore. “Realising all this, we have made every effort to overcome these problems, and we have indeed overcome most of them,” he said.

One of those issues concerned the Preve, which Mahathir said was launched too early without proper testing, and hence caused teething issues to crop up. “Today the Preve is quite a popular car, and that is because we have made corrective actions,” he said.

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Despite having taken steps to fix those issues, Mahathir said that the company is still “bugged by a bad reputation” – hence, he said that Proton will listen to the public with regards to their criticisms and correct whatever failures it has made.

As previously reported, Proton will launch at least three new cars this year, these being the Perdana – expected to be launched by the end of March – as well as the Persona and Saga. Mahathir said that he hopes the public will test drive these cars, adding that they should not pass judgement on them until they tried them out.

“Our tagline is ‘It’s in the Drive.’ If we were not convinced in the car, we wouldn’t say that – we would say that it is cheap, or that it is a national car. But we are saying that they are good to drive,” Mahathir said.

Watch the video above to see the full interview with Proton chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.