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Published by:
IBS Research Center (2007)
25 pages
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In 1983, Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sdn Bhd (Proton) was founded to ''symbolise country''s rapid industrialisation and aspirations to first-world status,'' by the then prime minister Mahathir Mohammad. Since its inception, Proton grew consistently from a mere assembler to an integrated car company and became a national icon. Even with the iconic status, cheap prices and imposition of heavy tariffs on rivals Proton''s domestic market share which once peaked at 74% in 1993, declined to 35% in 2005. According to the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) introduced in 1992, ASEAN members agreed to eliminate intra-regional tariffs and non-tariff barriers. The Malaysian automobile industry protected by its government was expected to face troubles in the future as the AFTA facilitated foreign players established their base in Malaysia. On the contrary Perodua (the second national car of Malaysia) performed well and went ahead of Proton for the first time in history. In order to combat the economic challenges and competitive pressures from Proton, Syed Zainal (former Executive Director at Perodua) was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Proton. Would Syed Zainal be able to steer Proton back onto the success path?


Proton; Passenger car industry; Perodua; Mahathir Mohammad; Syed Zainal Abidin Tahir; Market share; Branding; Strategic alliances; Market position; National car; ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations); ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA); Leadership; Competitive advantage; Tariifs, excise and import duty
35% market share (2005)
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