Malaysia’s Proton is on par with other premium vehicle brands like BMW, Putrajaya insisted to Parliament when asked if the national carmaker has what it takes to compete with its international rivals.

In a written reply to Batu Gajah MP V Sivakumar’s question last Thursday (April 2), the International Trade and Industry Ministry said many of Proton’s newer models display “advanced technology, high quality and performance”.

“Some Proton models even offer features of added value in terms of comfort and safety of passengers,” the ministry said in its reply.

As examples, the ministry said models like the Proton Exora, Preve, Suprima S and Iriz come complete with safety technology such as the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist, Traction Control System and the Electronic Stability Control.

The models also boast other features such as “whiplash protection headrests”, six airbags, safety belts and ISOFIX fittings for the installation of child safety seats, among other features that are typically offered in premium imported cars, the ministry said.

It said these characteristics, when combined with features of the “Lotus Ride and Handling”, has helped improve the standard of Proton vehicles.

It noted that the national carmaker gained international acclaim when it earned five stars from the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) and Asean NCAP.

“This rating puts the Proton car models on par with other popular car makes like BMW, Volvo, Toyota and Honda,” the ministry said.

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