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Ahead of the launch of the new 2016 Proton Persona in a week’s time, Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) CEO Madani Sahari has released a statement regarding his outlook on the national carmaker’s turnaround. In it, he expressed optimism towards the company’s sustainability as a global business, saying that it first demonstrated its “refined business model” with the launch of the new Proton Perdana in June.

“It was a model that was engineered by Proton’s research & development team based on a shared platform with a global car manufacturer. As the result, an elegant D-segment model that was based on profitable business modus operandi,” he said.

He added that he has driven the upcoming Persona and Saga, which he said impressed him with the overall driving experience, in particular the handling, cabin comfort and low vibration and harshness levels. “In a way, the new models seem to mirror the personalities of the two gentlemen at Proton’s helm, Datuk Fuuad Kenali and Datuk Radzaif Mohamed – open minded and attentive, yet decisive and goal-oriented,” he said.

Madani admitted that Proton’s consistency in quality could be improved, but said that its recent models showed no compromise in terms of occupant safety and consistently scored highly in new car assessment programmes. He also said that its cars are among the best in their respective classes in terms of ride and handling.

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Additionally, Madani said that as part of the RM1.5 billion soft loan extended to Proton, the government will be there to assist the company through its special task force, ensuring that its manufacturing, aftersales, branding and marketing will “propel the carmaker to the desired heights at the global stage.”

However, he also noted that despite the government’s assistance, it was Proton that planned, decided and implement all activities within its transformation phase. “Based on the outcomes of the last few months, I remain confident that Proton has the mettle to become a competitive player in the global automotive market.”

Madani said that Proton has been making headlines almost every week for the right reasons, not just because of upcoming cars like the Persona and Saga, but also its renewed business direction. “Despite being a mixture of truth and speculation, it is a sign that many Malaysians are still interested in Proton’s future – and for many, would like to predict its future as a success,” he said.

“All I have left to say is – it is time to feel excited about the future of Proton and the automotive industry.” Do you agree with what Madani Sahari has said about Proton? Sound off in the comments section after the jump.