Originally conceived by Malaysia's Prime Minister of the day, Dato Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, PROTON Bhd was incorporated on 7th May 1983 with the aim of building a national car. Two years later, On 9th July 1985 the Proton Saga was officially launched. It was Malaysia's first domestically produced car and is still sold in Malaysia and other countries today.
The original factory plant, covering 99,400 sq m, is situated at Shah Alam near Kuala Lumpur in central Malaysia. The site also houses an engine and transmission factory, a castings plant, R&D centre and a semi-high speed test track. The factory is currently producing 240,000 units per annum.
Opened in 2005; a state-of-the-art assembly plant was constructed at Tanjung Malim, 60 miles north of Kuala Lumpur. This area has been named Proton City and consists of a 500 hectare site containing the factory, plant, housing, a university and other commercial buildings to accommodate component suppliers.
Proton's total workforce in Malaysia totals just over 6,000 personnel working in all areas of vehicle design, R&D, production and manufacturing. With a solid base built up since 1983, Malaysia's car manufacturing industry is progressing rapidly.
Proton took a major step forward in upgrading its engineering capabilities when it acquired a share in Lotus Group International in October 1996. This stake was increased to 100% in 2003. Since the acquisition, personnel from Lotus are closely involved in Proton's new model development, with a team of engineers permanently based at the design and development centre in Malaysia.
The company has come a long way since 1983; PROTON was publicly listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange in 1992, and today, PROTON currently exports to over 20 active overseas markets includeing Europe, Africa, Australia and the asia Pacific. It has taken just 21 years for PROTON to gain significant international presence.