Strategic alliance with a global OEM soon: Proton

BANGKOK: Proton’s talks with a global original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for a strategic alliance is underway and the national car maker is confident of clinching a deal soon, managing director Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir said yesterday.

THUMBS UP: Syed Zainal (fifth right) during the launching of Proton’s maiden multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) Exora at the Thailand International Motor Expo here. — Bernama photo

THUMBS UP: Syed Zainal (fifth right) during the launching of Proton’s maiden multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) Exora at the Thailand International Motor Expo here. — Bernama photo

“We are clear on what needs to be done (our future plan)…the biggest question everyone is asking is on the strategic alliance. Discussions are underway, hopefully we can make an announcement soon,” he told the Malaysian media on the sidelines of the Thailand International Motor Expo here.

Syed Zainal Abidin said once the specific collaboration with the global OEM was announced, he was confident it would bring better future for Proton not only in the Malaysian market, but also other markets where Proton was already in or going to enter.

He, however, declined to identify the OEM involved or whether German auto giant, Volkswagen, was the company Proton was talking to.

Syed Zainal’s latest statement was the clear indication of Proton forming a partnership with a global player after months of speculation on its future, especially with reports that some local companies like DRB-Hicom was keen to take over.

There were earlier reports that Volkswagen would form a strategic partnership with Proton and assemble its vehicles at the national carmaker’s second plant in Tanjong Malim.

Volkswagen Group Malaysia Sdn Bhd Managing Director Andreas Prinz had said before that the group was also thinking of making Malaysia its hub for parts distribution in South East Asia.

Malaysian Government investment arm, Khazanah Nasional, the largest shareholder in Proton, aborted talks with the world’s fourth largest carmaker in 2007 as it was not keen to let the German manufacturer to take over management control of the national carmaker.

Proton officials were tight-lipped when asked on the potential partner or whether other players like General Motors are also negotiating with them.

Global players’ interest in Proton resumed after the Malaysian Government unveiled the National Automotive Policy in October that aimed to liberalise the automotive sector.

Last week, Proton Holdings Bhd announced 77 per cent increase in pre-tax profit of RM100.65 million for the second quarter ended Sept 30, 2009 against RM56.61 million in the same quarter last year.

In the 2008-2009 financial year, the national carmaker sold 108,405 Proton cars in the country and exported 18,426 units. — Bernama

What do you think of this story?
  • Angry (0%)
  • Sad (0%)
  • Nothing (0%)
  • Interesting (0%)
  • Great (0%)

 

Affiliates

 

Supplement Downloads

Member of