For Malaysia's premier national carmaker, life is certainly not getting any easier. Eighteen years after the launch of its first model, the Mitsubishi-derived Saga, the future of Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Bhd (Proton) has never been so uncertain as sales volumes, revenues and earnings have continued to plummet this year. By contrast, some its main Japanese competitors have seen sales volumes rise twofold and even more this year. Tony Pugliese reports.