Ok, I admit the picture above looks pretty good. BUT that doesnt detract from the fact that Proton is really a whole load of bollocks.
Why the sudden criticism of Proton?
I decided to vent my frustrations and views onProton after reading an article on the company in The Star's business section a few days back. In that article, Proton's incompetent CEO (Tengku Mahaleel aka Numbnuts) had the NERVE to ask the Government for more 'fairness and understanding' with regards to the drafting of a new motor vehicle policy.
Translation: "We want to be protected for a many more gazillion years so that we can continue ripping off the Malaysian public with crappily produced products which have a tendency to either burst into flames, or have bits of it fall off regularly"
Shown below is the actual quote taken from dear Mahaleel:
PROTON Holdings Bhd is seeking "fairness and understanding'' from theGovernment on a new motor vehicle policy to be announced as early as June, said group chief executive officer Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff.
"What we seek is for the Government to understand that we have just started running, and that we need time to become the 100-metre world champion,'' Mahaleel, said in his speech at the launch of a series of commemorative stamps on Proton's GEN.2 in Putrajaya yesterday.
Waddaya mean 'just started running'??? You have been in operation for 20 stinking years for crying out loud!! After all this time and all the protection our government has offered (at the expense of us tax payers I might add), what do you have to show for it? Nothing!! Heck, Proton cant even equip their cars with PROPER power windows. And by PROPER I mean 'lasts-longer-than-2-months'.
C'mon, even the power windows on my mother's old 1988 toyota have never broken down. Are you trying to tell me Proton cant even replicate engineering feats from the 80's?
Dont get me wrong, I am not a free-trade stooge. I do believe that trade barriers and protectionist policies are able to bring about a whole lot of good if implemented wisely. Name me one country which have not benefited from protectionism one way or the other, and I'll show you a rattle-&-squeek-free-proton. I dare you.
What I AM against however (very much so), is Proton's blatant disregard for ANY form of advancements whatsoever in the 2 decades which it has benefited from our country's motor vehicle policies.
Compare the first proton saga which rolled off the production line to the newly launched Gen.2. You'll seriously be hard pressed to name ANY significant improvements which justify all the billions of dollars which have gone down into supporting the d#mn company. Sureee, the Gen.2 has a fancier interior and is more well-equipped, BUT the workmanship on it is just as, if not MORE, shoddy as that of our intrepid Saga.
I had the 'pleasure' of going for a drive in one of my friend's newly purchased Gen.2, and guess what?... the stinking doors couldnt be opened!! Yup, the DOORS COULDNT BE OPENED!!
Ok, I'm exaggerating a bit here. In reality, the doors could be opened but only after applying herculean effort in the yanking of em' flimsy door handles (which seemed to be on the verge of snapping).
I dont claim to be an automobile manufacturing expert and correct me if I'm wrong, but isnt it important for the owner of the car to be able to GET INTO the car in the first place? Hmmm, it boggles the mind.
I once upon a time, did root for Proton. I could relate to our former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir's vision for Malaysia. I understood the importance of cultivating our nation's engineering expertise in the face of intense competition from countries such as China and India. I really did want to see Proton succeed and make us proud.
But after seeing just how 'much' Proton has 'improved' in the past 20 years, I dont think there's any more point left in flogging a dead horse. That's what Proton is in their current incarnation, dead. The company should seriously oust their current CEO, reelect a more competent and able board of directors, and seek to form mutually beneficial alliances or joint ventures with foreign car companies such as GM or Ford.
If they do decide to take such actions, Proton might well live to see its 30th birthday. Otherwise, there isnt going to be any light at the end of the long, dark tunnel they are trudging through.....