It's maddening that many accept "Made In China" products for one thing but absolutely detest them for others.
While many pounce on their tech products such as smart devices from Huawei and laptops from Lenovo, some still doubt their capabilities as well as credibility as a car manufacturer.
Not apple to apple you say? Well, the smartphone is held in your hand, at your ears, close to your eyes - what happens if blows up at any one of these places? At least in a car, you're still protected by a shell but we digress.
This is of course in reference to the low ball comments made about the upcoming 2020 Proton X50, where despite its recent showcase of cutting-edge technology and quality, people are still coming up with statements such as "yeah but its made in China".
Slandering its ability as a car without even trying it is one thing but passing judgment on it when it hasn't even done anything wrong is another, but we suppose this stigma of "Made in China" is rather hard to get over and we can understand why.
Originally known for their counterfeit and low-quality products, China has long been the place for cheap goods. It has progressed leaps and bound since those days, however. Today it is the home of innovation and industry. Think JD Robotics, Xiaomi, Anker, Haier and Hisense.
From an automotive industry perspective, companies such as Ford, BMW and Tesla are all starting to expand their manufacturing plants in China, and although one of the reasons for it is because of its low wages, it's also to do with their ability to provide good quality manufacturing.
But those are companies that are operating from their respective countries and have had decades of experience in building cars but by having large manufacturing plants in China, not only has it benefitted them through lower cost, it has also benefitted the Chinese.
The phrase rubbed off comes to mind here, and we're pretty sure that the increased efficiency and quality of Chinese cars came from the big automotive companies which manufacture and export their cars to China.
Chinese cars are solidly built and arguably feature more tech than others. Car brands such as Dongfeng, FAW, BAIC and Chang'an are all respectable brands these days. They are starting to become so accomplished that some experts reckon that they will be one of the future major vehicle manufacturers, especially if cars do eventually go full electric. Not only have they accepted foreign help, but they have also embraced it and tried to improve their lot, which is what clever nations, people, and great thinkers do.
There's always a bigger picture, and so must be the case for Proton and Malaysia. It's a fact that without the help of Geely, they would never be able to be where they are now - making and producing cutting-edge cars. If you can't be happy about their cars, at least be happy for their employees because not only can they and we learn from a carmaker like Geely, they can also at the same time develop from within.
When Proton assembled the X70 and X50, the workers from top to bottom had to learn new ways to put cars together hence upskilling our local tenaga pekerja. This is after all new vehicles to the Proton platform and a company that has Volvo and Lynk & Co in their arsenal will also have their own unique techniques. For those who want to grow, they would have accepted this with open arms, for those who are set in their ways, well, perhaps you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
The X50 is not "Made in China", it is made in Malaysia. Yes, yes, its genesis is China, but it's Malaysian hands that developed it and Malaysian hands that put it together. If its anybody that deserves the credit or negative press it should be Malaysia. But then again, are there any negatives?
We now have cutting edge cars at affordable prices that can compete with the very best, just like how we envisioned it in the first place. Heck, the media tested the X50 against the BMW X1 and Honda HR-V. Name us one other car manufacturer that is offering you this package at this rumoured price point? Isn't putting more affordable, safer cars on the road a cause we can all unite behind? Perhaps with the X50, we can even get the Proton name back to an international level just like it was in the early nineties.
Just like how the Chinese learned from the rest of the world, we can learn from China too, so is "Made in China" such a bad thing? Some of you would say yes, some would say no, but if we look at the bigger picture, Malaysia has more to gain than lose, and maybe its time for us to look at the bigger picture and remove the blinders from our tunnel vision!