Pretty astonishing statistics in an article from The Malaysian Insider:
"At its peak, four of every five cars sold in Malaysia was a Proton, but the carmaker is now in danger of slipping into third spot in sales behind Toyota and Perodua, the second national car company that has ruled the roost for over six years.
Industry sources told The Edge newspaper in an article published today that Proton saw its market share slip in December 2012 to just 17.7 per cent, with Toyota now a close third at 17.1 per cent share of passenger vehicle sales in the country.
“Perodua (Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd) is the runway market leader while Proton over the last few years has been a strong second. Now Toyota is closing in on Proton’s position,” an unnamed executive told the financial daily.
Proton is controlled by Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary’s DRB-Hicom.
Proton was established by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 1983 and became a poster child of the former prime minister’s industrialisation policies.
Dr Mahathir had made it patriotic to buy a Proton, but the company has seen its sales slump in the last decade due to increasing liberalisation of the Malaysian market."
I wrote before about my home country, The Netherlands. Dutch people seem to be more practical then Malaysians, at least when things don't work out: just move on, even if it means taking a loss.
The Netherlands has a company dealing with cars, trucks etc, DAF, but in 1975 it sold of its passenger car division to Volvo in 1975. Dutch people had the same love-hate relationship with its (only) homegrown car as Malaysian have with Protons. The DAF passenger car was as ugly as the Proton Saga.
Holland also had one steel company, Hoogovens, it first merged with British Steel and was later sold to Tata Steel from India. Malaysia is still stuck with its steel industry, Perwaja Steel is rumored to have lost about RM 10 Billion.
KLM, the royal Dutch airlines, merged in 2004 with the much larger Air France. Malaysia Airlines continues to be a big headache, with huge accumulated losses of around RM 8 Billion.
For the people in charge, there might be a lesson here.