SHAH ALAM: Proton, which celebrates its 30th anniversary today, will introduce three new models next year to boost sales and financial performance, said chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said the new models are an improvement over the existing Saga, Persona and Perdana models with the collaboration of Japanese car manufacturer Honda.
"In the automotive industry, we are always borrowing technology. Major car companies are always exchanging technology. In this regard, we are only using Honda's platform with the rest coming from our own efforts.
"The new models are equipped with the latest safety features and design. I really hope that all three models will enter the market in stages from January next year and will be well-received," he said at Proton's breaking of fast function here.
He said while Proton's performance is poor at present, the company has been working hard to produce quality cars such as the Iriz.
"I find the Iriz to be very good because it is very light and easy to drive compared with foreign cars of the same quality, but consumers' response has not been encouraging. However, of late the response to our Preve model has been better," he said.
Dr. Mahathir said the decline in Proton car sales had affected the cash flow of the company, which has had to hold back on executive staff salary increases.
"We have to make sacrifices to remedy the situation. Bonuses, although not much, will still be given, but with better sales they could probably be higher," he said.