Proton or Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional should find a strategic foreign partner instead of owning a sports car company, Lotus to gain technology experience to increase the quality and performance of all of Proton cars. Read further news from Bernama below.
The Proton Vendors Association (PVA) fully supports the government’s provision, under the National Automotive Policy (NAP) Review, for national carmaker, Proton to forge a tie-up with a foreign partner, its President Datuk Dr Wan Mohamed Wan Embong said.
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed, in announcing the review of the policy recently, said a new strategic partnership between Proton and a globally established original equipment manufacturer (OEM) would be established to enhance the local car manufacturer’s competitiveness globally and to ensure its long-term viability.
Mustapa said the partnership could involve equity participation and technology collaboration and that an announcement on the tie-up would be made soon.
Dr Wan Mohamed said he supported the need for Proton to obtain a strategic global automotive technical and business partner.
“The sooner Proton finds a partner that is compatible and committed with our vision, the better it will be for the strategic tie-up as it will assist Proton in moving forward with the latest demand for technology especially in terms of fuel consumption, alternative fuel and safety and so forth,” he said.
Dr Wan Mohamed said this should be the way forward for Proton but “I must emphasise here that local involvement will not help the car manufacturer.”
“This is because people who have expressed interest to take over Proton may have their own financial problems.”
He said nursing Proton would take many years and many quarters would be affected, especially vendors.
“The problem of the first take over is still being felt today so this is very important.
“I hope the government would not repeat the same mistake by letting individuals or new entrepreneurs to take over the company, Dr Wan Mohamed said, adding that billions of dollars is required to improve Proton.
Several local entities are interested in getting control of Proton including billionaire Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, who fought a battle over DRB-HICOM Bhd.
It was reported that DRB-HICOM Bhd had bid to acquire 32 per cent of Proton Holdings Bhd, in the hope ownership of the national carmaker in the hands of the private sector, would help improve the entire industry.
DRB-HICOM, was once the owner of Proton, and as part of a restructuring process, sold a 26 per cent controlling stake in the carmaker to Petronas for RM981 million in December 2000.
Even blogs are rife with talk that Yasmin Holdings Sdn Bhd, with the help of former Proton xecutive Datuk Kisai Rahmat, is teaming up with Naza Group, to launch a bid for Proton. — Bernama