Proton Saga turns 37

Proton Saga nameplate was launched on 9 July 1985

The Proton Saga is 37. Here are 9 facts about Proton’s oldest nameplate:

1. Launched on 9 July 1985, the date was chosen to coincide with the birthday of then Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

2. The Saga name was selected from a contest. The “Name the National Car Contest” received 102,823 entries for this contest. While Saga is taken from the hard red seed of the Saga tree, it was also an acronym for Safety, Achievement, Greatness, and Ability. 

3. 36 prototypes were developed before the first Proton Saga was approved by both Proton and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) in 1984. 

4. 1.95 million units of the Proton Saga has been sold since 1985, making it the best-selling car in Malaysian automotive history. 

5. If you lined up the 1.95 million Proton Sagas end to end, the chain would cover a distance of over 8,000km. Equivalent to the distance between Malaysia and Ukraine. 

6. The Proton Saga has been exported to a total of 28 countries worldwide. Bangladesh was the first export market in 1986 and this was followed by the United Kingdom in 1989. 

7. The Proton Saga is Proton’s most popular export model with over 59,000 units sold. 

8. The Proton Saga has bagged over 22 awards from various media channels since 1988. It was also involved in motorsports soon after it was launched. Its most recent success was finishing second in the 2019 Sepang 1000km race that was won by the Proton Iriz that was also run by R3, Proton’s racing division. 

9. A red Proton Saga was the first official car to be driven over the Penang Bridge. The driver of the car was Malaysian Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.