History of Proton
In 1985 the Malaysian car company "Proton" was founded. The first years of its existence, the company was engaged in the production of Japanese cars "Mitsubishi" brand under license for the domestic market of Malaysia. The first model was the proton Saga, presented in 1985. Under the hood of the car was located 1.3-litre power unit Mitsubishi, with a capacity of 73 horsepower. In addition, in 1987, he was presented a modification in the hatchback body and a 1.5-liter engine with a capacity of 92 horsepower. In the same year were presented version of the proton Saga with left hand drive for sale on the European automotive market. In 1991, has been substantially transformed the structure of the company, which led to the selection of the joint venture "Proton-Mitsubishi" in a single firm, which in 1995 became part of the concern "Proton".
In 1996 introduced a new model called Proton Perdana, built on a platform of its own design. The engine model is located two-liter power unit with a capacity of 99 horsepower. In the same year, the Malaysian brand bought an 80% stake in the British company "Lotus", becoming the full owner of all patents of a once successful company. A key factor in buying "Lotus" became part of the Malaysian government, which not only delivered proton from tax payments for the next 10 years, but covering 30% of the cost of the transaction.
In 1997 he was presented the model of the proton 300, built on the platform of the Mitsubishi Colt and published more than 10 modifications of the power units, among which were the engines of its own design, produces 235 horsepower. Through the year was presented to model the proton Persona, which became the sales leader in the automotive market of Central Asia. And the following year was presented model Satira GTI with the 1.8-liter power unit, having a capacity of 135 horsepower.
In 2004 began a collaboration with another Japanese brand "Mazda", which was shared with the Ford platform. On the basis of the compact chassis from the Mazda 3 was presented model Proton Gen-2. New market leader of the Malaysian automobile market has become so very popular in Europe. By 2005, the production of proton Gen-2 was deployed on the company "Lotus" in the UK, which was to flow a large investment by British companies. In 2006 he was presented subcompact model proton, Satria, which was found to be commercially unsuccessful, which led to a gradual decline in the share of the brand "proton" in the Malaysian automotive market.
Since 2007 began the renewal of the model range of the company, which led to a temporary decline in earnings, and during the world financial crisis, had to significantly reduce the funding of the subsidiaries of the company "proton". However, in 2009 at the helm of which stood the former Vice-President of the Italian brand "Ferrari" Dany Bahar. Thanks to the efforts of the new Director General, was established advertising firm "proton" working with the requests of the owners of the cars, which was a sharp increase quality of hire and sales growth models "proton" in the domestic automotive market in Malaysia.
In 2010, the next step on the path of world development concern was the sponsorship team Formula 1 Renault Sport, passed under the control of the Luxembourg investors in late 2009. A year later, "proton", using the brand "Lotus", became the title sponsor of the team, passing it a new name - "Lotus GP". Activities of concern has led to the fact that the cars of "proton" was able to enter new markets, winning a large share, including in the compact car segment in the Chinese automotive market.
In 2011, introduced a new model proton, Inspire, which represented turned sedan Mitsubishi Lancer tenth generation, equipped as the Japanese engines, and engines of its own design "proton". However, the company suddenly appeared in major debt, and the government began investigating the theft of more than $ 100 million profit group "proton". In 2012, the position was released Dany Bahar, who has been guilty of theft of own funds of the company proton, moving through offshore accounts over $ 150 million in the period from 2009 to 2011.
The new company's management is fully turned Motorsport program group "proton", which led to stable economic growth. However, after the refusal of the government of Malaysia to issue car brand new subsidy, the company sold part of the shares of the Japanese company Toyota, which also undertook the development of new power units. As a result, in 2013 began the next modernization of the current model range of the company, and the new models are scheduled for 2015-2016 year.