The PROTON Holdings is a corporation that is involved in the design, manufacturing, sales, and distribution of automobiles. Proton is a Malay acronym for Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional which means National Automobile Company. The company is a Malaysian-based corporation and was established in the year 1983. The PROTON Holdings has its headquarters in Shah Alam, Selangor, it also has additional facilities in Perak for various other operations. HICOM initially owned PROTON, and Mitsubishi Group Members held some part of the stakes. DRB-HICOM got the entire thing in the year 2012.

Proton Car

Lotus cars belonged to Proton from the year 1996, and in 2017, DRB-HICOM had plans to sell about 49.9% stake in Proton and 51% in Lotus cars to Geely Automobile Holdings.

PROTON was one of those corporations which designed cars in an indigenous way they also produced non-badge engineered cars, and this was one of the reasons which made Malaysia stand out as a country which was capable of producing cars from the base level.

Some of the current models of the Corporation are Proton Ertiga, Proton Iriz, Proton Persona, Proton Suprima S, Proton Exora and Proton Perdana. The former models of cars are Proton Wira, Proton Waja, Proton Satria Neo, Proton Inspira, Proton Arena, etc.

Logo and branding of the company:

From the year 1985 to 2000 the PROTON Corporation had a logo that had a dark blue shield with a yellow colored crescent in the bottom of the logo and a fourteen-pointed yellow color star placed right in the middle of the logo. The logo was designed by keeping the Malaysian flag and the coat of arms in mind. The logo was used only for cars that were sold domestically and in the year 2008, the logo was changed to an emblem which has a tiger with PROTON engraved at the top of the logo. The new label was used in the Proton Waja cars.

Domestic Sales:

The Saga saloon was the first Proton, and it was launched in the year 1985. It had an excellent reception, but since the company could not meet the high demand, the sales were not that good. However, Proton learned from this, and in the following year, they sold about 24,148 units in Malaysia.  The sales kept increasing in the subsequent years, and it peaked in the year 1993 by capturing about 74% of the Malaysian Market and sold over 94,100 units. Later due to the Asian Financial crisis in the year 1997, the sales of the card significantly dropped. The company slowly stabilized in the early 2010s.

Export Markets:

The sales of Proton cars are more in the internal regions, and very few vehicles are exported to other Asian countries, UK and Australia.


Some of the partnerships of Proton were Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, Citroë, Youngman, Honda, and Suzuki. Since, were Mitsubishi Motors Corporation initially had a lot of shares in Proton, most of the car parts, technical expertise, and vehicle platforms were outsourced from Mitsubishi.  Citroë is a French car manufacturer, and it wanted to have a joint venture with Proton as they had plans to produce diesel-powered cars in Malaysia.