According to one of its founders, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, Proton will collapse unless it finds an international partner. Proton has lost significant market share to main rival Toyota, and was previously holding talks with Volkswagen. However, negotiations were said to have broken down because the two companies couldn’t agree on issues of control.

Bowing to public pressure and the looming collapse, Proton is once again in talks with VW and is considering giving approval for the German giant to take a controlling stake in the company. It was previously announced that the Malaysian government has given the green light for a foreign company to take 51% of the voting rights in Proton’s manufacturing arm, with a focus on control. Proton has reportedly been in talks with China’s Chery Automobile Co., India's Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, and France’s Peugeot Citroen PSA Group.

Less than a decade ago, Proton was in much better shape. The company produced several major models and even managed to acquire a significant stake in UK’s Lotus. Together the two companies developed some amazing vehicles such as the APX crossover concept and the old Satria GTI that also had a helping hand from Mitsubishi.