DRB Hicom denied the plan to rebadge VW Polo. It is a false news reported by local newspaper. Read full news below.
DRB-Hicom Bhd has denied the company will rebadge Volkswagen Polo to replace Proton Saga as reported by some local newspapers. Group managing director Datuk Seri Mohd Khamil Jamil said the company has no plan to rebadge its cars. He said the news reports surprised him, adding that the information did not originate from DRB-Hicom.
“As long as I am in charge, I will not allow this to happen. To develop the national automotive industry, we have to move forward. “Rebadging will only result in the local automotive industry moving backwards,” he said. Mohd Khamil also said DRB-Hicom would develop a Proton vendor programme to help strengthen the automotive industry. “It’s not skewed to only one particular company, whoever is capable of doing it, like what we are doing for Volkswagen, will also be considered for the Proton’s vendor programme.” He also said the acquisition of Proton’s 42.7 per cent stake in Proton Holdings Bhd from Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the government’s investment arm, would be completed in a week’s time. DRB-Hicom acquired the stake for RM5.50 per share at RM1.291 billion cash in January
Previous report >>>>>>>>>>>>
A Proton Saga Replacement from rebadged Volkswagen Polo Sedan at around RM70k? Local news reported that VW interested in converting VW Polo to replace Proton Saga with a lower spec than the current VW Polo to lower down the price but in my opinion, it is still not worth with that price tag of Proton Saga Replacement. The current model has made a big success for Proton and they don’t need any other car to be rebadged. The current model has the potential to be enhanced and better than the Polo in terms of comfort, ride, handling, space, features, engine and exterior with more value for money spec. Read further news below.
REBADGE VW POLO SEDAN AS PROTON SAGA REPLACEMENT?
A plan to rebadge the Volkswagen Polo compact car as a Proton Saga replacement would be a positive move for Proton Holdings Bhd and the domestic automotive parts sector, said research analysts. OSK Research said in a report that this could help the national carmaker recapture market share and benefit the local automotive component makers in the event that the rebadged Polo result in huge production volumes catering to the export market.
“We see this rebadging possibly materialising in one to two years, given that the present Proton Saga is nearing the end of its life cycle.” A local business daily reported that Volkswagen was looking into the possibility of rebadging a Polo model as a Proton Saga replacement via a tie-up with DRB-Hicom Bhd. The report said a locally-produced Polo might be priced below RM70,000.
The Volkswagen Polo TSI
At present the imported 1.2-litre turbocharged Volkswagen Polo TSI is priced at RM113,888 in the peninsula. In January, DRB-Hicom Bhd had won the bid to buy Proton’s 42.7% equity stake held by Khazanah Nasional Bhd for RM1.29bil or RM5.50 per share. DRB-Hicom will undertake a general offer to minority shareholders at RM5.50 per share to acquire the remaining shares it does not own in a bid to privatise the national carmaker. The present generation Saga was introduced in 2008.
According to the Malaysian Automotive Association, the Saga is Proton’s bestselling car and constituted 46.8% of the national car maker’s sales of 158,657 cars last year. OSK Research did not rule out the possibility of Proton exporting the rebadged Polo to the Asean markets in order to benefit from economies-of-scale. “By then, it would have complied with the minimum 60% localisation of content to benefit from Asean Free Trade Area’s 0% import tax duty.”
Another motor analyst concurred, and said that Volkswagen wanted a bigger market presence in Asean, and Malaysia had been a potential Asean manufacturing hub for the German carmaker for a long time. “A rebadged Polo could provide Volkswagen with a significant presence in the entry-level passenger car segment in Asean markets.” However, one motor analyst pointed out that there was no guarantee that the rebadged Polo would be well-received by car buyers.
“For example, the Proton Inspira, which is essentially a rebadge of a Mitsubishi sedan, is not selling as well as expected, with 9,840 units sold last year. The Proton brand does not have the prestige level that the Volkswagen brand has here.” He said in order for a rebadged Polo to be priced more competitively, it might not come with the same specifications and equipment level that the imported 1.2-litre Polo TSI has. “For example, it might not come with specifications such as the high-tech 7-speed direct shift gearbox.”