It was established in 1983 under the direction of the former Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. Since then, it was Malaysia's dominant carmaker until the establishment of Perodua in 1993. Based on technology and parts from Mitsubishi Motors and a design inspired by Alfa Romeo, production of the first model, the Proton Saga began in September 1985 at its first manufacturing plant in Shah Alam, Selangor. Initially the components of the car were entirely manufactured by Mitsubishi but slowly local parts were being used as technologies were transferred and skills were gained. The 100,000th Proton Saga was produced in January 1989. Until the end of the 1990s, the car's logo featured the crest from Malaysia's coat of arms, featuring a crescent and a fourteen-pointed star. The new Proton logo features a stylized tigerhead, as well as the change from the lowercase italic text "proton" to uppercase "PROTON". In 1993, a model called Proton Wira was introduced based on the Mitsubishi Lancer/Colt. More than 220,000 units were sold between 1996 and 1998. Proton Perdana, based on the Mitsubishi Galant/Eterna, was first produced in 1995, intended for higher end market. TheProton Waja (Proton Impian in UK), which launched early 2001, is the first car model designed internally by Proton. By 2002 Proton held a market share of over 60% in Malaysia, which was reduced to barely 30% by 2005 and is expected to reduce further in 2008 when AFTA mandates reduce import tariffs to a maximum of 5%. With the acquisition of Lotus technologies in 1996 from ACBN Holdings (a company owned by the owner of Bugatti), Proton has gained an additional source of engineering and automotive expertise. This led to the production of Proton Gen-2 which was code name Wira Replacement Model (WRM) before the launch. The Gen-2 is the first of cars to be manufactured and assembled at the new manufacturing plant in Tanjung Malim, Perak which is part of Proton City development project. The plant...
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