Part of Proton’s future plans includes expanding its presence in export markets. Earlier in the year, the national carmaker made an official return into the Chilean market with its Preve and Exora. With other potential markets, including emerging ones like Africa and South America, being potential targets for Proton, what’s the hold up in entering them?

It is not the lack of trying, according to Tun Dr Mahathir. The Proton chairman explains that even though the carmaker had exported its cars to markets like Argentina, Egypt and Australia, the penetration rate hasn’t been very encouraging.

Among the examples cited for this, are products that weren’t very different from their Japanese parentage. Additionally, restrictive national policies put in place by the respective countries further limits Proton’s emergence in these markets.

Tun Mahathir also points out that Proton has to sell cars at a much lower price in countries such as Egypt, not just to meet production volume demands, but to compete against locally-assembled cars there. A CKD operation in Egypt was previously mooted by Proton, and it may want to reaffirm those plans in the future.

However, these plans will require a lot of planning, including a proper study of the market and ensuring the vehicle designed fits the market’s needs. This isn’t an overnight job, and requires time. Can Proton spare the time to do so? Let us know what you think in the comments below.