Honestly speaking I’ve been to Geneva for the annual Motor Show quite a few times. I am familiar with the exhibition area, the city and the personal nature of the most significant auto show of the year.
But this year is different. For the first time I am part of the exhibiting team, which essentially means I get to arrive on the show floor days before the event proper. For the first time also I am attending the Press Day not as a ‘researcher’ but as part of a team presenting a World Premier.
There was a great sense of trepidation from the Proton team I’m sure, but safe to say everything went as planned. To me Geneva is always about personal connections between the who’s who of this industry. It’s about walking the floor and meeting people whilst at the same time analysing the displays on show. So, it was natural the EMAS taking lots of visit from friends of Italdesign and Proton. Some notable visitors were Nissan’s Shiro Nakamura, ex-BMW’s Chris Bangle, Lotus’ Donato Coco, Formula 1’s Jean Alessi, the legendary Ferdinand Piëch and many others.
But it was great to have Proton’s Advisor, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, join this historic moment. His presence alone generated such a buzz and put an unmeasurable amount of emphasis on the significance of the event. He is such a fascinating man to watch; he doesn’t speak much but when he does it resonates to the core. Also he one of 80+ years old which makes his efforts to participate and walk the floor all the more amazing. But lest not forget Tun Siti Hasmah for standing by and being the perfect lady. I watch her stature and come to the conclusion that she must have an incredible amount of patience and control amidst all the attention towards her husband. Like Tun Mahathir I’m sure she too has a lot energy and enthusiasm towards what’s important for Malaysia.
All in all the show was a great opportunity for Proton and it was not to be passed. Everyone delivered what they were supposed to do and the responses have been beyond our expectations. Interest have been great, and now expectations are even greater. I personally believe Proton’s global ambitions are well on its way and more importantly we can stand tall amongst the greats in this industry. In the past I have many times mentioned that and that there should be no fear of us being any lesser than the stalwarts of the design fraternity; especially in design and styling.
Proton Design is now one step closer to cement its presence in the world design scene.