SUBANG JAYA – The government needs to give priority to national carmakers by giving them more support and encouragement to ensure their survival.
Proton Holdingâ€™s Bhdâ€™s Chairman, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed, said the company, like any foreign car companies, has the capability to compete and even produce better cars, but found it difficult as the foreign carmakers received government support.
“I think it is enough for the government not to encourage foreign cars even if they donâ€™t encourage Proton.
“This is wrong, you (government) are encouraging the foreign cars not local cars. We met all the conditions imposed by the government and there is no government support for us,” he told reporters after prize-presentation ceremony for Proton Design Competition 2015.
Dr Mahathir said Proton was supposed to receive financial assistance from the government to carry out design, research and development activities but had yet to receive it.
He said Proton, however, took the initiatives by using its own internal money to produce Protonâ€™s hybrid and electric cars.
“We need the money to produce electric cars because this is our promise to the government, but we are not getting the money,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said Protonâ€™s electric cars did 313 km per charge, and the record has not been achieved by other electric carmakers.
“Of course, the foreign cars are cheaper and lighter. Proton has to import certain inputs which are costly. Each car needs 4,000 parts which we had to be imported, process the design and put them together which is not easy,” he said.
He said he was happy Malaysians had acquired the skills to build the car.
“Many people are coming to Proton, not the big companies, to learn how to build cars,” he said. – BERNAMA