Meet Hami Akyuz. He's from Istanbul, Turkey, and he loves Proton.
Hami, 19, was introduced to Malaysians recently by Muhamad Nur Thaqib Shaker, a fellow Malaysian who is studying in Universiti Yasar, Izmir, Turki.
According to Muhamad Nur Thaqib, as published on Sinar Harian, Hami has used at least 18 types of Proton cars since eight years ago. Today, he is still a loyal Proton user.
"Proton cars are of good quality, comfortable and affordable."
"I'm a big fan of this Malaysian car brand and I hope that the newer Proton models will be launched in Turkey," Hami said.
Like Hami, another fellow Turk named Okan shared the same passion for Proton cars
Okan, who also hails from Istanbul, said he started driving a Proton two years ago.
For a person who has worked in the automotive industry and is familiar with a variety of car brands, the 33-year-old said that Proton is considered to be one of the best and high-quality ones.
"Proton has a good performance, and is on par with brands from other countries."
"If you look at the prices which are really reasonable, Proton is indeed one of the best," he explained.
While it's not unusual to spot Proton cars in Turkey, Muhamad Nur Thaqib was surprised when he found out that there is a 'Turkey Proton Club'
He revealed that people could easily spot older Proton models such as Proton Wira and Proton Saga in major cities in Turkey, particularly Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya, Bursa, Konya and Izmir.
He added that he has seen Proton Waja cars being used as taxis in Istanbul.
So when Muhamad Nur Thaqib met some Turkey Proton Club members, he wasn't going to let the opportunity to find out more about their love for Malaysia's national carmaker slip away.
They told him that the main reason they bought and used Proton car is to support the vehicle output from Malaysia as an Islamic country, in addition to the price of Proton that is so cheap.
They also said that Proton cars are comfortable, sturdy, high quality, and good in terms of driving.
However, these fans admitted that it is difficult to find Proton experts and to obtain spare parts
It is said that Proton had tried to export cars to Turkey as early as 1994. However, these exports had either been unsuccessful or had to stop due to certain circumstances.
It was only until 2004 when Ulu Motor took charge as the main distributor of Proton in Turkey that the carmaker found some success in penetrating the market.
Do you think Proton should be more aggressive in promoting the brand in international market? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Speaking of which, several foreign companies have reportedly submitted their bids for a stake in Malaysian automaker Proton Holdings Bhd.: