This year, Proton is aiming to sell 150,000 cars, a 50% increase from 2015’s sales figure of about 100,000 cars. A tall order indeed, but not a far-fetched one, according to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the company’s chairman.

However, it isn’t an impossible one as history shows. In 2002, the national carmaker shifted nearly 220,000 cars that year. Those good times however, have slowly faded away over the years with increasing amount of competition from Korean and Chinese manufacturers diluting Proton’s market share.

Tun Mahathir concedes that Proton isn’t in its best shape, with 52% of the market in the hands of non-national carmakers. The remainder 48% may belong to Proton and Perodua, but the former only occupies 17% of said figure. Nonetheless, the chairman says it is a business requirement to set such high sales targets as an initiative for more effort.

Part of Proton’s efforts to revamp itself includes its new product line-up for 2016, beginning with the new Proton Perdana. Further into the future however, Proton hopes its new platform and engines will further convince the public of their return to form. Even a Proton Saga Turbo was mentioned as an upcoming offering in the future.

Tun Mahathir also expands upon Proton CEO, Datuk Abdul Harith Abdullah’s statement that the national carmaker has lost its value for money advantage over foreign brands, due to the recent popularity of longer loan tenures. Here, he gives us more insight into the matter, including relations to the second-hand market and government’s policies and requirements. For a more detailed explanation of the points, watch the interview, here.