This note is not centred towards anyone in particular. It too is not written by a car company but by someone who is concerned about how Design is being viewed in our local automotive scene.
I was informed that Proton Design was mentioned in a popular automotive blog and also referred to in a leading online periodical recently. Naturally due to the fact I’m somewhat linked to the national car project’s design team I read the comments with great interest. And trust me, there are many! I guess the national car company will always be a point of interest to many people regardless of race or creed or social standing in life.
From my readings I feel disheartened that there are some individuals who write a lot of negativity about Proton’s design prowess but know nothing of automotive design. ZERO. I believe they are known as ‘bashers’. Bashing as in leaving comments in forums and chat rooms that belittle subjects of their interest. But I doubt if these individuals know what they are talking about, much less have any real interest in the designs which roll off Proton’s assembly lines. But then again it could be they are a misinformed lot. Whatever the case may be, it would certainly be more mature of them to check their thoughts before writing them.
Let me put things in perspective. There are about 28.3 million people in Malaysia today. Of the 28.3 million about 5,000 or so work directly with Proton. Of the 5,000 people less than 1,000 work in R&D and from that lot less than 6% are in the styling team. These are the men and women who toil day in and day out to bring you car styling which compete with only 11 other car manufacturers on planet Earth. They are all 100% Malaysian and proud to be so. And did you know that since the Waja, all of Proton’s car styling are done in-house by our locals? I don’t know about you but I’m damn proud to be working amongst them.
What I’m trying to illustrate is that there are only a handful of us in this country that can critique automotive styling. And I can assure you ‘bashers’ do not come close to being eligible to even speak about car styling. Their opinions have no value to us. Don’t get me wrong, constructive criticism is always welcome and we take heed of genuine market needs. It’s those mindless & childish criticisms which belong to the trash.
Allow me to end this post by saying that I know for a fact our local Malaysian designers can compete against world renowned designers, and WIN. In time, more of this will become obvious but for now let me assure you there’s nothing to stand between us and the rest of the world. It’s all in the mind. If you feel you are inferior then you will become inferior because whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it will achieve. I’m not being delusional. I can make these statements because I’ve interacted and worked with the who’s who of the car styling fraternity and I know where Proton Design stands.
I think there are two types of people in this world – people who can start things and people who can finish things. And while I place great value on the finishers, it’s the starters who are rare because they can envision what isn’t there. ED FRANK