Malaysian car maker unveils 'Islamic car'

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Proton, a car company in Malaysia has announced that it plans to begin building a car specifically for Muslims.

They will work with other car makers in Iran and Turkey to build an "Islamic" car, which would the first car of its kind and will be unlike any other car on the world's market.

"What they (Iran) want to do is to call that an Islamic car. We will identify a car that we can develop and produce it in Malaysia, Iran or Turkey. For Proton, we are more than happy because we have products that we can share," said Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir, the chief executive of Proton. The idea was originally proposed by Iran.

Features are to include a compartment for the person's headscarf and Qur'an as well as a compass that will constantly point in the direction of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Currently, Volkswagen which is headquartered in Germany, is in negotiations to partner with Proton and American automaker General Motors Corporation. Proton has been posting financial losses, with over US$160 million lost in 2007 alone.