Proton looking to develop its own DNA for design

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PETALING JAYA: Proton wants to develop its own “DNA” in terms of the design of its vehicles, as it looks to maintain its grip on the Asean region.

Proton’s chief designer Azlan Othman said the brand has been endorsed as being the “right-hand drive centre of excellence” for the Geely Auto Group, which has a 49.9% stake in the national carmaker.

“So we have to make sure we have our own unique proposition for the market,” he said in an online chat with Geely’s vice-president and general manager of Geely Design Shanghai, Guy Burgoyne.

He went on to say that Proton saw value in having unique identifiers in its DNA, in terms of how the car “looks and feel”, both for the exterior or interior.

This includes the “Infinite Weave” and “Ethereal Bow”, two design elements introduced by Proton when it unveiled the X70, which he described as “icons” for the DNA.

These two elements, Azlan said, not only struck a chord with Malaysians but was something that was recognised internationally. This, he said, was something the brand wanted to leverage on.

“We have so many values within the Asean region that are unique to us and if we isolate those values, it would be easy to have a product that is instantly recognisable.”

Azlan also said Proton has reached a point, since the launch of the X70 in 2018, where it needed to evolve. He also said because of its partnership with Geely, Proton needed to move “in parallel”.

“We have to be able to have products that work and evolve organically as we have donor products and legacy products,” he said, referring to parts by Geely and Proton respectively.

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