Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin bin Syed Mohamed Tahir, the Managing Director of Proton Holdings Berhad, was awarded the “Automotive Man of the Year 2008” Award in recognition of his leadership at the helm of Proton and turning around an ailing domestic giant into a genuine global challenger.
To achieve this, his focus switched back to core competencies and profitability. This culminated in the long term strategy which is now known as the Asian Multi-Local OEM (AMLO) strategy. The AMLO strategy is Proton’s export thrust into ASEAN, China, India, Middle East – North Africa in collaboration with local partners.
Datuk Zainal’s philosophy of “the right car at the right price at the right time and market” saw the rebirth of the new Proton Saga which is today a top seller. The Proton Persona, another successful model, also reflects Proton’s revival, and the MPV that will be launched next year promises to be Malaysia’s preferred vehicle.
The winners for the New Straits Times/Maybank COTY 2008 Awards were announced at a gala dinner in Kuala Lumpur hosted by the New Straits Times and title sponsor Maybank Berhad.
The premier Car of the Year Awards was first organised in 2002 by Cars, Bikes & Trucks, the motoring section of the New Straits Times, to recognise the efforts of all car manufacturers as well as serve as a guide to car buyers.
The event is endorsed by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).