Proton hasn't exactly keeled over and croaked just yet, but it's ailing for sure.
And for how long, is beyond me.
Volkswagen is digging its heels in the sand, while Peugeot Citroen has rejected it outright.
That leaves us with General Motors, but if GM wouldn't buy even Chrysler, what are the odds it would settle for Proton with all its additional baggage and conditions like the 30% game?
I'm with The Malaysian when he says the government's claims about still 'evaluating options' to find a strategic partner, needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.
Proton was never a serious automobile manufacturer. And certainly not world-class.
Of course, in the Malaysian scene, steep taxes for imported cars certainly helped in propagating the car to the masses.
As The Malaysian says, ordinary Malaysians were forced to buy Proton cars despite their inferior quality.
There are misguided Malaysians out there who still believe that Proton is the saviour of their souls because the lower price is within their car-purchasing range.
Many fail to understand that a Japanese or Korean car (with competitive features) without tax, is cheaper than a Proton.
Yes, foreign cars have been heavily taxed to give this illusion that Proton is cheaper.
And for what price? Inferior quality - perpetual power-window failure, cheap and easily broken plastic component parts, and poor performance which is the distinguishing feature of the Proton aka Potong.
Someone ought to ban Potongs from Malaysian roads. I personally think Potongs are the source of traffic jams in Kuala Lumpur as the traffic inevitably slows down at any slope gradient.
Most Potongs go blue in the face trying to accelerate enough power (on the far right lane at that) to make it to the peak of the hill without going bust. Meanwhile, the imported cars tail behind impatiently.
Including yours truly.
I swore I was never going to buy a Potong ever. I have been called unpatriotic for buying my Japanese car but spank my ass and call me a bitch - I'll never settle for a Potong.
Someone else can have milo-tin-on-wheels.