As enthusiasts compare VinFast and Proton, motorheads say it’s all about the money

Motoring journalists say VinFast’s recently debuted electric cars are “all about the money”.

This came after car enthusiasts started comparing the Vietnamese carmaker with local car manufacturer Proton, which has been around for nearly four decades.

Hezeri Samsuri, founder of automotive website, said VinFast had only been around for about five years but was now attempting to break into the electric vehicle (EV) market with its VF e35 and VF e36 sport utility vehicles (SUVs).

“VinFast is burning lots of money, but its sales figures are low. It is willing to invest now as the EV market is a level playing field,” said Hezeri.

“However, much of the technology is from third parties. It has not done much research and development on its own.

“So, while Proton has been around longer, VinFast is taking a different approach.”

He, however, credited VinFast for trying to break into the American market, adding it was “one of the hardest to get into.”

More and more manufacturers are getting into the electric vehicle race as nations get serious about reducing carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles. The European Union aimed to have at least 30 million zero-emission vehicles on its roads by 2030. Nations in this region, however, had yet to fully embrace EVs.

Hezeri’s views were echoed by Kon Wai Luen, editor of e-magazine Aurizn.

He said it is “easier and cheaper” to break into the EV market, although it still costs “millions and millions of ringgit”.

“The car industry is an expensive business. Each car has thousands of components, and you need millions of units of annual output to achieve competitive economies of scale,” said Kon.

“For the same amount of money Proton takes to develop and produce a Persona for example, giants like Toyota or Volkswagen can make a superior car at a much lower cost.

“EVs make it cheaper to enter the car business because an electric motor has much fewer moving parts than a petrol engine. It is much less complex to make.”

He added the major cost item in EVs are batteries.

“That is usually outsourced. So the cost and know-how needed to develop a new car are therefore dramatically reduced.

“That is why you have so many EV brands mushrooming everywhere.”

Asked why Proton did not pursue the electric route, Kon said it was “complacent” as the company had a majority share of a captive market where foreign cars were taxed out of most people’s reach.

“By not pushing themselves to develop and going beyond the ‘jaguh kampung’, Proton remained a small player in the global arena and does not have the economies of scale to play ball competitively with the big boys before they minted their partnership with Geely,” Kon added.

Here are Twentytwo13’s news highlights today.


Deputy Health Minister II Datuk Aaron Ago said the government is ready for a possible fourth wave of Covid-19 following state elections in Melaka last Saturday.

“We are monitoring the situation. The government is aware and is ready to face the possibility of a fourth wave happening in the country,” Ago told the Dewan Rakyat.

Malaysia recorded 5,594 new cases today, bringing the total to 2,597,080.


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the halal industry has the potential to boost the country’s economy as the world Muslim population is projected to increase from 1.8 billion to 2.2 billion in 2030.

By 2024, the global halal economy is expected to grow to RM10 trillion.

He added to ensure there was no repeat of the ‘meat cartel’ scandal that imported meat from several foreign countries without proper ‘Halal’ certification, the government would implement three mechanisms to ensure the integrity of the management system for the importation of halal meat.

The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim), in collaboration with other agencies, would implement the three mechanisms as follows:

  • Require imported animal-based products stored in warehouses to have a Malaysian Halal Certification (SPHM) under the warehousing category logistics scheme.
  • Imported animal-based products must use a transport network, which is SPHM-certified, under the transport category logistics scheme.
  • Establish a mandatory repacking procedure that requires companies to obtain Malaysian halal certification under the food product scheme.

Ismail Sabri added Jakim was developing a RM3.4 million Halal Integrated Information System to serve as a database for halal products.


Gerakan president Datuk Dominic Lau Hoe Chai and TalentCorp Malaysia director Datuk Nelson Renganathan are now senators.

They took their oath of office in the Dewan Negara, before Dewan Negara President Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim, today.

Their appointments are from today until Nov 22, 2022.


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Phase Two of the Covid-19 special assistance fund (BKC), would be paid out from Thursday.

He added the aid involved 700,000 household recipients, bachelors and senior citizens under the low-income category and would cost the government RM300 million.

Phase Three, totalling RM1.2 billion, would be disbursed next month. A total of RM3.1 billion was paid out under Phase One in September.

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