Mazda Perodua V Proton
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Mazda Perodua V Proton

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Experience Mazda Zoom Zoom Lifestyle and Culture by Visiting and joining the Official Mazda Community at http://www.MazdaCommunity.org for additional insight into the Zoom Zoom Lifestyle and special ...

Experience Mazda Zoom Zoom Lifestyle and Culture by Visiting and joining the Official Mazda Community at http://www.MazdaCommunity.org for additional insight into the Zoom Zoom Lifestyle and special offers for Mazda Community Members. If you live in Arizona, check out CardinaleWay Mazda's eCommerce website at http://www.Cardinale-Way-Mazda.com

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Mazda Perodua V Proton Mazda Perodua V Proton Presentation Transcript

  • INVESTOR RELATIONS: THE CASE STUDY OF TWO AUTOMOBILE COMPANIES
  • IR: THE DEFINITION
    • “ … a strategic management responsibility using the disciplines of finance, communication and marketing to manage the content and flow of company information to financial and other constituencies to maximize relative valuation.”
    • (National Investor Relations Institute/NIRI)
  • IR: THE DEFINITION
    • “ … is the strategic management responsibility that integrates the disciplines of finance, communication and marketing to achieve an effective two-way flow of information between a public company and the investment community, in order to enable fair and efficient capital markets.”
    • (Canadian Investor Relations Institute/CIRI)
  • IR: THE DEFINITION
    • “…the Management of the relationship between a company with publicly traded securities and the holders or potential holders of such securities…”
    • (The UK Investor Relations Society)
  • IR: GOAL & OBJECTIVES
    • Goal:
    • Positioning the company to compete effectively for investors’ capital
    • Objectives:
    • Explain the company’s vision, strategy and potential to investors and “conduit constituencies”
    • Ensure that expectations of the company’s stock price are appropriate for its earnings prospects, the industry outlook and the economy
    • Reduce stock price volatility by maintaining a stable stock price and shareholder base
  • WHAT IS IR?
    • As the connecting point for investment community to have a sneak peak of the company’s performance
    • Providing ‘Corporate Governance’ to the company (PLC)
    • Abiding to the rules and regulations set by security commission (apart from answering the investment communities with regard to the company’s financial health)
  • MAIN FUNCTION OF IR
    • Provides information
      • About the company
      • About the business
      • About company’s performance
      • About future plan of the business / company
    • Improve reputation and credibility
      • By building up shareholders base
      • By conducting investment related business activities
  • IR: WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY?
    • Chief Executive Officer – involved in developing the objectives and strategies of IR programs which supports the company’s long-term business goals
    • Chief Financial Officer / Finance Director – collate financial data and strategic messages for transmission to the investment community
    • Company Secretary – ensure share register is kept up-to-date and ensure that the IR process complies with all regulations
    • IR Manager – drive and coordinate IR programs and design corporate messages which accurately reflect the overall business objectives of the company
  • IR: TARGET GROUPS
    • 1. Rating Agencies
      • - Standard & Poor
      • - Moody’s
    • 2. Finance news media
      • -print – Business Times, Wall Street Journal
      • -electronic – Money Matters
      • -internet – Valueline.com, surf88
    • 3. Stock/Securities/Investment Analysts & Brokers
    Intermediaries
    • Employees
    • Customers
    • Suppliers
    • Bank/Financial Institutions
    • Official Regulators
      • - Bursa Malaysia
      • - Securities Commission
    • 6. Government
      • - Bank Negara Malaysia
      • - Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri
    • INSTITUTIONAL SHAREHOLDERS
    • FUNDS INVESTORS
    • SECURITIES COMPANIES
    • YOU
    • ME
    • US
    Others Institutional Individual
  • IR: TACTICS
    • Annual meetings and annual reports – current financial status & future plans/projections
    • Newsletters, magazines, personal letters
    • Website (stock prices, annual reports, executive speeches, news releases)
    • Webcast (live audio-visual feeds – meetings with financial/investment analysts)
    • Multimedia road-shows
    • News releases, media kits
    • Phone contacts
    • One-to-one meeting (+CEO/CFO)
  • IR: THE IMPORTANCE (how IR adds value)
    • Why?
    • Investors demand more communication, more transparency and more access to companies/organizations
    • How?
    • Markets the company’s shares to investors
    • Assumes a marketing role to a company’s stock
    • Provides regular informational updates and explanations of company’s performance to the marketplace
    • Communicate strategies in response to both internal (mergers, acquisitions, etc.) and external events (unanticipated crisis)
    • Identify and understand major/influential shareholders
  • IR: THE CHANGING ENVIRONMENT
    • Technological advances (websites, Internet) – provides/enables great transparency by providing real-time information about companies to wide audiences
    • Changing business environment – globalization, liberalization, rules & regulations (the emergence importance of corporate governance)
    Corporate governance is about promoting corporate fairness, transparency and accountability. The corporate governance structure specifies the distribution of rights and responsibilities of the board, managers, shareholders and other stakeholders, and spells out the rules and procedures for making decisions on corporate affairs. We score the companies based on specific issues such as board composition, management remuneration, accounting treatment and transparency. .. "Corporate Governance is concerned with holding the balance between economic and social goals and between individual and communal goals. The corporate governance framework is there to encourage the efficient use of resources and equally to require accountability for the stewardship of those resources. The aim is to align as nearly as possible the interests of individuals, corporations and society“. (Sir Adrian Cadbury in 'Global Corporate Governance Forum', World Bank, 2000) Due diligence. The process of checking the accuracy of information contained in a company public statement, such as a prospectus, before recommending that company to others. Is also the act of one company investigating another company before buying its shares.
  • IR: THE CASE STUDY PROTON Holdings Berhad (Company No.: 623177-A)
    • THE HISTORY
    • PERUSAHAAN OTOMOBIL NASIONAL BERHAD or PROTON was incorporated on May 7, 1983 to manufacture, assemble and sell motor vehicles and related products, including accessories, spare parts and other components.
    • PROTON produced Malaysia's first car, the Proton SAGA, commercially launched on July 9, 1985 by Malaysian Prime Minister, Dato' Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who had originally conceived the idea of a Malaysian car.
    PROTON: THE CASE STUDY
    • History
    • PROTON main plant in Shah Alam, with an area of 923,900 sq metres, was originally designed for a capacity of 80,000 units per year. In 1997, capacity increased to 230,000 units per year with the construction of the Medium Volume Factory, which is next to the Main Plant. Now the Shah Alam factory is capable of producing 240,000 vehicles per year.
    • Tanjung Malim is the ultra-modern manufacturing and assembly plant that can produce 5 times the capacity of Shah Alam plant.
    PROTON: THE CASE STUDY
    • THE HISTORY
    • PROTON was publicly listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE) in 1992 at the IPO of RM5. Its shareholders (as of 25 July 2002) were: § Khazanah Nasional Berhad - 31.63 % § Petroliam Nasional Berhad - 11.57 % § Mitsubishi Corporation - 7.94 % § Mitsubishi Motors Corporation - 7.94% § Employees Provident Fund Board - 7.35% § Other Local and Foreign Investors - 33.57%
    PROTON: THE CASE STUDY
    • THE HISTORY
    • Besides being shareholders, Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation are also PROTON technical assistance partner and component supplier.
    • ** The JV with Mitsubishi ended April 2004
    PROTON: THE CASE STUDY
    • THE HISTORY
    • PROTON Holdings Berhad was established on 28 th July 2003 to manage the group’s investment activities under a holding company
    • Under the new structure, the group is divided into 7 different divisions
    PROTON: THE CASE STUDY
  • PROTON: THE CASE STUDY
    • THE GROUP OPERATIONS STRUCTURE
    PROTON Holdings Berhad Engineering Services Manufacturing Marketing Properties Financial Services Investor & Associates Others
    • CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
    • & INVESTOR RELATIONS
    PROTON: THE CASE STUDY
    • Are 2 different entities
    • Inter-related
    • Corporate Communication supplement IR
    • Both are answerable to CEO but IR is under the supervision of CFO
  • PROTON: THE CASE STUDY
    • THE CORPORATE IDENTITY
    The tiger head conveys clearly the Malaysian heritage being associated to the 2 tigers displayed on our national coat of arms The diamond shape, derived from our very first top mark, and the colour scheme are a symbol of continuity with the past success **CC input in IR
  • PROTON: THE CASE STUDY
    • THE CORPORATE VISION
    • “ We want to become a successful Malaysian automotive manufacturers globally by being customer oriented and producing competitively priced and innovative quality products”
    **CC input in IR
  • Website **CC input in IR
  • Annual Report **CC input in IR
    • IR TACTICS / APPROACHED
      • IR WEBSITE
      • QUARTERLY INVESTOR BRIEFINGS with the CEO
      • ANNUAL REPORT
      • QUARTERLY FINANCIAL REPORTS
      • MEDIA BRIEFINGS / PRESS RELEASES
      • EVENTS (i.e. Outings, community projects etc)
      • NEWSLETTERS/MAGAZINES
    PROTON: THE CASE STUDY
  • PROTON: THE CASE STUDY The Share Price Q205 – Q206
    • ANALYSIS OF SHAREHOLDING
    • Share Capital : RM 1,000,000,000/-
    • Authorized Share Capital and Fully Paid Up Capital : RM 549,213,002/-
    • Class of Shares : Ordinary Shares of RM 1/- each
    • Voting Rights : One (1) Voting Right for one (1) Ordinary Share
    PROTON: THE CASE STUDY **TOP 30 SHAREHOLDERS (refer attachment)
  • PROTON: THE CASE STUDY
    • CHALLENGES
    external internal AFTA (Asia Free Trade Area) Government Policy - SOE??? JV?
    • GM
    • DRB
    • MOFAZ
    • NAZA
    • CHERRY
    • PSA
    • THE WAY FORWARD:-
    PROTON: THE CASE STUDY New Ventures Innovation Research & Development Capitalizing on Human Asset OR ANOTHER RE-STRUCTURING???
  • IR: THE CASE STUDY PERODUA
  • PERODUA: THE CASE STUDY
    • Perodua , acronym of Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Berhad (in English, Second Automobile Manufacturer Limited Corporation) is Malaysia 's second automobile manufacturer after Proton . It was established in 1993 .
    • Perodua mainly produces compact cars and therefore does not actually compete with Proton for the same market niche. In the United Kingdom their cars are sold by Proton dealers who wish to attract those customers seeking a smaller and cheaper alternative to the Proton range.
    • The Perodua Kancil is Daihatsu Mira while Kelisa is Daihatsu Cuores assembled in Malaysia. Because Perodua does not actually produce any in house design and engineering for the main components (i.e engine, transmission), some people questions their status as car maker. To some, Perodua are just mere assemblers. Daihatsu owns a majority stake in Perodua. Daihatsu itself is now a subsidiary of Toyota Corp.
    PERODUA: THE CASE STUDY
    • The joint venture partners/shareholders of Perodua and their respective shareholding are UMW Corporation Sdn Bhd (38%), Daihatsu Motor Co. Ltd. (20%), MBM Resources Berhad (20%), PNB Equity Resources Corporation Sdn Bhd (10%), Mitsui & Co. Ltd (7%) and Daihatsu (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (5%). Perodua Kancil was introduced to the Malaysian market in August 1994.
    PERODUA: THE CASE STUDY
  • PERODUA: THE CASE STUDY
  • PERODUA: THE CASE STUDY The Shareholders UMW+MBM+PNB+DMSB (local stakeholders) (foreign stakeholders)
  • PERODUA: THE CASE STUDY ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
  • PERODUA: THE CASE STUDY CORPORATE COMMUNICATION COMP. SEC / LEGAL TOP MANAGEMENT BOARD MEETING GROUP COMPANY SECRETARY The only means of IR for Perodua
  • PERODUA: THE CASE STUDY (Alternate WITH Ybhg Dato' Abdul Rahim Abdul Halim) Encik Aqil Ahmad Azizuddin -MBM Alternate Directors Encik Aqil Ahmad Azizuddin - DMSB Encik Wan Roshdi Wan Musa - PNB Encik Hafiz Syed Abu Bakar – MD, Perodua YBhg Datuk Yoshihiro Uehara - DMC YBhg Dato' Dr Abdul Abdul Halim Harun -UMW YBhg Dato' Abdul Rahim Abdul Halim - MBM Mr Looi Kok Loon - MBM YBhg Tan Sri Datuk (Dr) Kazumasa Suzuki - Mitsui Mr Katsuyuki Kamio - Daihatsu Members YBhg Tan Sri Datuk Asmat Kamaludin Chairman Corporate Information / Board of Directors
  • PERODUA: THE CASE STUDY Major Shareholders 1.28 6,492,854 HSBC Nominees (Asing) Sdn. Bhd. - Exempt An For J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg S.A. 10. 1.65 8,368,700 Amanah Raya Nominees (Tempatan) Sdn. Bhd. - Amanah Saham Didik 9. 1.72 8,746,933 Lembaga Tabung Haji 8. 2.68 13,600,000 Malaysia Nominees (Tempatan) Sendirian Berhad - Great Eastern Life Assurance (Malaysia) Berhad (Par 1) 7. 2.95 14,974,400 HSBC Nominees (Asing) Sdn. Bhd. - BBH And Co Boston For GMO Emerging Markets Fund 6. 3.42 17,383,200 Amanah Raya Nominees (Tempatan) Sdn. Bhd. - Amanah Saham Wawasan 2020 5. 4.41 22,378,796 HSBC Nominees (Asing) Sdn. Bhd. - Exempt An For JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association (U.S.A.) 4. 4.58 23,234,069 Permodalan Nasional Berhad 3. 8.32 42,262,249 Employees Provident Fund Board 2. 47.44 240,872,148 Amanah Raya Nominees (Tempatan) Sdn. Bhd. - Skim Amanah Saham Bumiputera 1. % No. of Shares Shareholders TEN Largest Shareholders As At 30th September 2006 (for UMV; the PLC)
    • Should Perodua wish to go for listing?? (the requirement of IR)
    PERODUA: THE CASE STUDY Starting with the Basic Developing Message Analyzing Shareholders’ base Marketing to the buy side Global reach
  • THE CASE STUDY
    • THE COMPARISON
  • Conclusion
    • The main purpose of IR is to attain and retain the highest share price that is consistent with an accurate and informed view of the company’s relative performance and potential in the market
    • IR allows a company to communicate its financial health and corporate goals to financial and non-financial stakeholders
  • INVESTOR RELATIONS: THE CASE STUDY OF TWO AUTOMATIVE COMPANIES (GLC)
    •                                                                                                   
    • Archive for Proton
    • DRB-HICOM explains 32.9% stake proposal rationale
    • December 17, 2006 @ 6:05 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 DRB-HICOM has presented their rationale for their proposal to buy 32.9% of Proton to the Cabinet commitee on transportation last Monday. Among DRB-HICOM’s plans for Proton if the government allows them to take over part of their 39% stake in Proton is the merger of Proton Edar and DRB-HICOM’s distribution unit EON, which also sells Proton cars amongst other marques.
    • DRB-HICOM says it can turn Proton into a profitable company within 2 years. DRB-HICOM also has no issues with working with a foreign partner in efforts to turn Proton around and lead it towards success. If no foreign partner is selected, DRB-HICOM already has existing working relationships with Renault and GM.
    • Other local parties interested in Proton include Naza and Mofaz, but DRB-HICOM is pretty confident in this matter. DRB-HICOM executive adviser of the group’s automotive and component division Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Omar says he believes DRB-HICOM has a 100% chance, as it makes sense for the government to put Proton under DRB-HICOM considering the Government is a common shareholder in the three companies involved - Proton, DRB-HICOM and EON. Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Omar used to be Perodua’s managing director, and spearheaded Perodua’s restructuring in 2001, which saw Daihatsu and other Japanese companies taking up equity and management control of it’s manufacturing division.
    • In other news, Proton Holdings Berhad chairman Datuk Azlan Hashim said talks about Volkswagen being shortlisted as a forerunner for Proton’s foreign strategic partner was pre-mature, and no decision has been made yet. The decision will be made by the shareholders, and an announcement will be made when the board is ready.
    • Source
    • Permalink Comments (28)
    • Proton Volkswagen updates: due diligence audit?
    • December 13, 2006 @ 5:06 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Continentals , Local News , Intl News , Rumours , Proton , Volkswagen
    •                 A report from AP says that Volkswagen AG may conduct a due diligence audit on Proton as discussions on a possible tie-up including stake transfer progresses further. Recent newspaper reports have suggested that Volkswagen is the forerunner in the bid to partner with Proton. Volkswagen’s possible 51% purchase into Proton’s manufacturing unit is said to be worth RM 2 billion ringgit, which will result in Proton gaining knowledge through tech transfers as well as a capital injection. Initially, Volkswagen might use Tanjung Malim to assemble the Volkswagen Passat model for the Japan market, taking advantage of Malaysia’s free trade agreement with Japan.
    • This will result in Volkswagen holding Proton’s manufacturing unit shares, but what is to happen to the government’s 43% stake in the main company Proton Holdings Bhd? This might be where the local partner comes in, a company like DRB-HICOM or Naza could purchase part or all of this stake from the government. Volkswagen is said to have the edge over PSA Peugeot-Citroen because PSA Peugeot-Citroen is interested in a partnership that could involve sales and joint model development collaboration but it did not want to involve a stake transfer.
    • Sources: IHT , Bernama
    • Related Posts: JMEPA: The reason Volkswagen wants Proton? Proton stake purchase updates PSA Peugeot Citroen and Proton to meet next week DRB-HICOM wants to help Proton DRB-HICOM confirms Proton share purchase talk Government gives green light to foreign control in Proton
    • Permalink Comments (26)
    • JMEPA: The reason Volkswagen wants Proton?
    • December 7, 2006 @ 11:11 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Japanese , Continentals , Local News , Intl News , Proton , Volkswagen
    •                 A friend of mine and I have always pondered, what was our Prime Minister doing when he handed out abolishment duty for inbound Japanese CBU and CKD packs by 2010 in exchange for duty free export of “fruits” (and others) to Japan in the recent Japan-Malaysia Economic Partnership Agreement (JMEPA), since we do not export any cars to Japan.
    • What we did not realise is duty free access to the Japanese market has increased the worth of Proton and it’s Tanjung Malim plant tremendously. A report by Forbes quoting AFX News says that the Malaysian government has short-listed Volkswagen AG to be Proton Holdings Bhd’s strategic alliance partner. Of course, being short-listed doesn’t mean Volkswagen will be the final partner chosen. Recent statements by the PM himself mentioned that the strategic partner will only be decided by Quarter 1 2007.
    • If Volkswagen is indeed The One , the deal will involve Volkswagen taking a 51% controlling stake in Proton’s manufacturing arm. Volkswagen wants to penetrate the Japanese market, and this is the reason for it’s keen interest in Proton - to use Tanjung Malim as an assembly base for Japan-bound cars. In return, Proton will receive sales aids and technology transfer.
    • Source
    • Related Links: JMEPA Press Statement Page 1 , Page 2
    • Permalink Comments (100)
    •                                                                              
    • Proton to sell CBU cars in Indonesia
    • December 7, 2006 @ 12:28 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Intl News , Proton
    •                 Here’s Proton’s plans to increase market share in Indonesia. For the moment, PT Proton Edar Indonesia will sell CBU (fully imported from Malaysia) sedans in the 1.3 liter to 1.8 liter capacity range, which is liable for 5% duty. Even with the duty slapped on, prices of Proton cars there is still cheaper than Japanese imports.
    • Apparently CKD assembly operations in Proton’s Cikarang plant will start when there is enough demand for Proton cars in Indonesia. But the question is, shouldn’t the purchase/building of a plant only come after volume justifying CKD operations has been reached?
    • Source
    • Permalink Comments (28)
    • Proton extends agreements
    • December 6, 2006 @ 12:18 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 Proton has once again extended it’s three running agreements with Mitsubishi Motors Corp Japan, Chery Automobile Co Ltd and Alado Corporation Sdn Bhd.
    • The Memorandum of Understanding between Proton and Mitsubishi has been extended for another three months, set to end on 2nd February 2007, while the feasibility study with Chery and it’s local partner Alado Corporation was extended to 28th February 2007.
    • I’m sure we all eagerly await the outcome, the first could possibly result in a new Mitsubishi-based model while the latter could result in better utilization of Proton’s coveted RM2 billion Tanjung Malim plant.
    • Source: Bursa Malaysia
    • Permalink Comments (27)
    • Proton Quarter 2 2006 Results
    • December 1, 2006 @ 4:51 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 Proton’s Quarter 2 2006 financial results have just been posted on the Bursa Malaysia announcement page, and the figures are still in red. Losses before tax for Quarter 2 2006 is RM 240,480,000, compared to RM 161,785,000 in Quarter 2 2005. This brings the total losses for the first half of this year to RM 336,016,000, compared to RM 169,146,000 for the same half year period of 2005. Reasons for this loss was reported to be a sluggish and competitive market which resulted in a lower sales volume. The market has certainly been sluggish, with October 2006 sales dropping by a huge 37 percent as compared to the same time period last year!
    •                                                           Click for enlarged version.
    • Source: BTimes , Bursa Malaysia
    • Permalink Comments (72)
    • EON Dealers want EON- Edar merger
    • November 30, 2006 @ 6:43 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                   The EON Dealers Association of Malaysia (EDAM) is supportive of a merger between EON and Proton Edar, as the current market situation has caused 80% of EON dealers to be unprofitable losing between RM15,000 to RM50,000 a month., with the remaining 20% seeing sales of 20 units or more a month.
    • There are now 400 Proton dealers in the country, comprising of both Proton Edar and EON outlets. An optimum number would be about 250 outlets after the two dealerships have been merged. EON previously closed down 10 sales branches and 4 service centers, as part of its rationalization exercise for greater efficiency.
    • Related Posts: EON closes down branches
    • Source
    • Permalink Comments (15)
    • 2007 Proton Savvy facelift at A1 GP Sepang
    • November 29, 2006 @ 4:44 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                              Proton showed us a sneak preview of the upcoming Proton Savvy facelift at the recent 2006 A1 Grand Prix event in Sepang. This photo is from a paultan.org visitor from Savoc.net . While the strange shoulderline is still there, the awkward rear end design that looks like the front of a Proton Waja is now gone - though the rear hatch still sinks in between the two rear lamp clusters. The Proton badge has been placed slightly upwards. Originally scheduled for public release this Friday, because of certain circumstances it looks like we’ll have to wait a little while longer than that for the new 2007 Proton Savvy facelift - just a little bit longer!
    • More photos at Savoc .
    • Permalink Comments (66)
    • Proton Satria Neo A1 Special Edition
    • November 24, 2006 @ 8:53 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                                                          
    • PROTON and A1 Team Malaysia unveiled the Proton Satria Neo A1 Team Malaysia Special Edition yesterday, a model that was developed with intention to go on sale next year. There are no prices and specifications yet, and the final model might differ from the one you see in this post.
    • I was not at the launch, but got these photos from Proton’s Corporate Communications. From what I see so far, the model comes in a special A1 yellow, has some new non-bling bling design wheels, a big spoiler at the rear, yellow meter panels, leather sports seats with yellow stitching, a sporty MOMO steering wheel, A1 special edition mats as well as a special edition plague near the gear shift.
    • More photos after the jump.
    • Read the rest of this entry »
    • Permalink Comments (109)
    • Proton Stake Purchase Updates
    • November 24, 2006 @ 2:30 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Continentals , Local News , Proton , Volkswagen , Peugeot , Citroën
    •                 Here are some due updates on the few companies that might end up as a new stakeholder in Proton, as well as have a controlling stake in it’s manufacturing arm.
    • Mofaz
    • Mofaz has teamed up with a foreign technical partner in it’s bid for a stake in Proton Holdings Bhd. This proposal was submitted three months ago, but the foreign partner in question was not named. Mofaz intends to help turn Proton around, and stresses this is more important than owning a stake in it. How do have the power to turn Proton around without having a controlling stake in Proton, I don’t know. Apparently Mofaz has it’s own way of influencing Proton’s management without a stake?! - Source
    • Sime Darby
    • No firm acknowledgement of the intention to buy shares so far. Sime Darby itself has had it’s shares suspended to be merged with Kumpulan Guthrie, and Golden Hope.
    • Naza
    • Naza, being a private company, has no Bursa Malaysia sending them queries to explain news so they’ve been quiet about this for quite sometime. But Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin SM Amin finally let the bird out of the cage at the launch of Naza’s new 3S facility at Juru. A letter of intent has been submitted two months ago to the government on the matter of the Naza Group acquiring a stake in Proton Holdings Bhd. Naza believes it can bring the company to greater heights. - Source
    • DRB-HICOM
    • Refer to this post for the latest on DRB-HICOM’s plans to take over Proton. No new updates since then.
    • Volkswagen
    • No word from Volkswagen themselves, but our government has confirmed it is in talks with Volkswagen again, with the possibility of a controlling stake purchase, which is what Volkswagen wanted but was denied before talks broke down some time ago.
    • PSA Peugeot Citroen
    • PSA’s technical team is in town to conduct feasibility studies in the areas of collaboration highlighted in the previous MoU signed. However, Proton says it is not aware of any intentions by PSA to take up a stake in Proton, while officials from PSA itself has mentioned that there are no intentions to take up a stake, merely to partner up for doing business together in the region. Since PSA Peugeot Citroen already has a preexisting partnership with the Naza Group, there seems to be some form of “tag team” of local and foreign partners in place here with Naza and PSA. If not so, then PSA’s collaboration with Proton could be for the Citroen brand instead - remember PSA Peugeot Citroen doesn’t necessarily mean Peugeot! - Source
    • Permalink Comments (31)
    • PSA Peugoet Citroen and Proton to meet next week
    • November 18, 2006 @ 11:06 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Continentals , Local News , Proton , Peugeot
    •                 Unnamed sources told the NST’s Business Times paper today that PSA Peugeot Citroen will be sending a top team to meet with Proton’s top management as well as officials from the Ministry of Finance and Khazanah Nasional on the proposed purchase of Proton shares.
    • Apparently this brief was scheduled to be presented later, but the time was brought forward due to pressure from the news of Volkswagen’s renewed interest in Proton’s manufacturing arm last week.
    • The proposal will include a proposed stake purchase in Proton’s manufacturing arm as well as technical tie-ups between the two car manufacturers that will benefit both parties. Possible collaboration in areas such as product development, manufacturing, quality initiatives, vendor development, contract assembly and distribution will be discussed.
    • On a side note, updates on this blog from now until next Wednesday might be scarce and sporadic as I will be out of the country - updates will depend on the availability of internet access in the hotel.
    • Permalink Comments (26)
    • DRB-HICOM wants to help Proton
    • November 16, 2006 @ 3:07 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 DRB-HICOM explained to the media yesterday the rationale behind it’s proposal to the government to purchase Proton shares owned by Khazanah Nasional. The proposal was on a preliminary level, and submitted a few weeks ago on its own initiative without an invitation from the govenrment, was yet to receive a response from the Government.
    • DRB-HICOM used to own more than 27% of Proton before selling that stake to Petronas in the year 2000. Now, Petronas owns 7%, while other majority shareholders are Khazanah Nasional which owns 43%, while the EPF owns 12%. Khazanah Nasional’s 43% is actually over the limit that Bursa Malaysia has set for shareholding, but being the government investment arm and all, an exception was made until Khazanah can find someone to buy off the excess shares.
    • DRB-HICOM says it submitted the proposal because it felt it can assist the development of Proton, especially the distribution and components side. On the matter of distribution, DRB-HICOM owns Proton distributor Edaran Otomobil Nasional Bhd.
    • DRB-HICOM also has no issues with a foreign partner, referring to the recent news on the government considering letting a foreign partner having a controlling stake in Proton’s manufacturing arm.
    • Sources: DRB-HICOM has plans for Proton DRB-HICOM: Proton stake offers synergy
    • Related Posts: DRB-HICOM confirms Proton share purchase talk Mofaz interested in Proton?
    • Permalink Comments (31)
    • DRB-HICOM confirms Proton share purchase talk
    • November 14, 2006 @ 10:40 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 DRB-HICOM said today in a reply to a Bursa Malaysia query on reports of it’s interest in purchasing Proton shares that it has submitted a proposal to the government in regards to the prospect of acquiring some of the shares in Proton Holdings Bhd.
    • At least now we have confirmation right from the company itself that someone wants to take off a portion of the large percentage of shares Khazanah Nasional is currently holding in Proton. Other companies rumoured to be interested in shares are the Naza group and Mofaz.
    • Read the Bursa Malaysia announcement .
    • Permalink Comments (13)
    • Nice Proton Savvy bodykit
    • November 10, 2006 @ 4:30 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Proton
    •                                                          
    • I spotted this very nice kitted out black Proton Savvy at the Mentari Business Park in Sunway this afternoon. Looks pretty nice, the owner went around what’s considered one of the Savvy’s biggest design “defect”, the Waja front lookalike embedded into the rear. Didn’t manage to get a photo of the front though, but it had a mesh grille.
    • Permalink Comments (64)
    • Govt gives green light to foreign control in Proton
    • November 9, 2006 @ 8:37 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 The online business daily with more little birds than you can ever imagine The Edge Daily - has a report quoting unnamed sources that the Malaysian government has given the go ahead on giving foreign parties 51% control in Proton’s manufacturing arm, with the keyword here being control. The online daily also reported that talks with Volkswagen AG have resumed as of last month. Proton is also in talks with two other companies - PSA Peugeot Citroen of France and Chery of China.
    • The potential arrangement between Proton and it’s foreign partner would be similiar to Perodua’s setup with Daihatsu, with distribution under local control but manufacturing under the foreign partner’s control.
    • With the government having finally realising that pride cannot get into the way of doing business properly, the question is now - is it too late?
    • Source
    • Related Readings: Proton to produce MPV and SUV with Chery Proton and PSA Peugeot Citroen sign letter of intent
    • Permalink Comments (69)
    • Mofaz interested in Proton?
    • November 7, 2006 @ 8:13 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 The Edge Weekly reports that the latest company to express interest in buying Proton shares is the Mofaz Group, a company that sells imported cars in Malaysia.
    • In other news, investors are still skeptical about Proton’s ability to turn around. HLG Research maintains it’s sell position on Proton shares, saying it needs foreign participation to compete globally.
    • Nevertheless, Proton sales in foreign markets such as UK have been slowly but surely improving, with sales in September 2006 for the Uk market doubling despite car registrations dropping by 3.5%. The Proton Satria Neo will be launched in the UK market early next year.
    • Source
    • Permalink Comments (29)
    • Proton Cars UK Sep 06 sales double
    • October 12, 2006 @ 6:12 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Intl News , Proton
    •                 A short news update on Proton performance in it’s export markets. Proton sales in the UK have doubled in September 2006 compared with the same month in September 2005, which is very good considering year to date car registrations in the UK have actually dropped 3.5% so far.
    • “ I am extremely pleased that we have again sustained a sales increase; we have achieved a rise in sales every month this year. Coming top in 11 different questions in the recent National Franchised Dealers Association Survey and our growing sales figures demonstrate that our dealers are responsive to our commitment and support ,” said Proton Cars UK General Manager of Sales and Marketing Simon Park.
    • Sales look to continue in the upward trend, and the Proton Satria Neo will be launched in early 2007.
    • Permalink Comments (109)
    • New variable intake geometry system for Campro
    • October 9, 2006 @ 8:49 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 EP Manufacturing Bhd (EPMB) will be supplying a new Intake Air-Fuel Module to Proton for use with it’s Campro range of engines, together with it’s technology partner Bosch.
    • Currently, Proton’s Campro engine uses a an aluminum manifold with a single airflow path. This will be replaced with a reinforced plastic molded manifold with variable airflow activated by flaps controlled by electronics from Bosch, and manufactured by EPMB.
    • The automotive-grade high-thermal plastic material used to make the new manifold is lighter, resulting in overall weight reduction, which will improve fuel consumption slightly. The new intake manifold will substantially improve the efficiency of air intake into the combustion chamber, and better combustion means better response, and increased torque output and smoother power delivery.
    • Lower end power will also be better, since airflow can be optimized for both low and high end engine speeds. Basically, this is a variable intake geometry system, also known as variable length intake manifold. Nothing cutting edge or new in the market, and has been in practice for years - like Porsche’s VarioRam, Mitsubishi’s Cyclone and Mazda’s VICS. But anything that can improve the performance of the Campro engine is welcomed, don’t you think? Another added effect is the ability to create a swirl effect in the intake air for a better air-fuel mix, if the manifold is designed to do so.
    • Development for the new variable intake system commenced as long as 12 months ago, and is currently in final advanced tooling stages. It’s expected that the system will be ready for production in the second half of 2007.
    • Source: EPMB , Bernama
    • Permalink Comments (79)
    • Proton to produce MPV and SUV with Chery
    • September 28, 2006 @ 7:51 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , China , Proton , Chery
    •                 More news on the Proton-Chery partnership - Business Times reported today that Proton Holdings Bhd may produce an MPV and an SUV model together with Chery Automobiles Co Ltd, according to Chery distributor Alado’s executive chairman Tan Sri Cam Soh Thiam Hong.
    • Previously Alado said it wanted to locally assemble the Chery Tiggo T11 SUV and the Chery V5 Crossover MPV here in Malaysia. So what Alado’s executives might have meant is Proton will assemble the Tiggo and V5 here in Malaysia for Chery, or Proton will come out with SUV and MPV models based on the Chery platforms. I think it’s more likely the former rather than the latter.
    • Related Posts: Chery Tiggo ( Chery T11) coming to Malaysia Chery V5 Crossover ( Chery B14) MPV
    • Source
    • Permalink Comments (91)
    • More on Lotus turnaround plan - Lotus Satria Neo?
    • September 23, 2006 @ 7:17 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Continentals , Local News , Intl News , Proton , Lotus
    •                We have more details on Group Lotus’ plan to turnaround the company within the next 5 years. Previous details on the plan revealed plans to produce more of it’s own cars, re-engineer third party cars, as well as expand it’s engineering consultancy business. More details about those details at this post .
    • Further details reveal that the flagship Lotus Esprit will be postponed to a end 2009, making it a 2010 model. Lotus says it needs more time to “insert more Lotus DNA” to ensure global competitiveness. Rumours previously had it that Lotus was to release the Esprit next year. The new Lotus Esprit is expected to be a mid-engine, rear wheel dirve layout and could use a 4.8 liter V8 DOHC unit from BMW, making more than 400 horsepower, which would be a real rocket combined with the Lotus philosophy of performance through weight reduction.
    • In the meanwhile, Lotus announced it will introduce a new mid-market level model in May 2008, as well as a new 4-seater high-performance model in collaboration with Proton - are we going to see a Proton car being tuned up in the style of the Lotus Carlton ? Bernama reports that this model will be based on the Proton Satria Neo . The Lotus line-up currently includes the Elise, the Exige and the Europa.
    • As part of it’s efforts to cut costs, Group Lotus also announced 200 job cuts in it’s manufacturing workforce. The Hethel plant workforce suffers because of the US market slowdown, which is the company’s biggest market. Rather than calling it downsizing, officials have said it is more of a “right-sizing.”
    • There are some rumours of Proton selling off Lotus like what it did to MV Agusta, but Proton’s MD Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir was quick to clarify that there are no such plans, not now and not in the future. He was quoted to say “We will make sure that Lotus will work. We must ensure Lotus is a success; there is no other way.”
    • Related Posts: Group Lotus 5-year turnaround plan .
    • Permalink Comments (15)
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    • Archive for Proton
    • DRB-HICOM explains 32.9% stake proposal rationale
    • December 17, 2006 @ 6:05 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 DRB-HICOM has presented their rationale for their proposal to buy 32.9% of Proton to the Cabinet commitee on transportation last Monday. Among DRB-HICOM’s plans for Proton if the government allows them to take over part of their 39% stake in Proton is the merger of Proton Edar and DRB-HICOM’s distribution unit EON, which also sells Proton cars amongst other marques.
    • DRB-HICOM says it can turn Proton into a profitable company within 2 years. DRB-HICOM also has no issues with working with a foreign partner in efforts to turn Proton around and lead it towards success. If no foreign partner is selected, DRB-HICOM already has existing working relationships with Renault and GM.
    • Other local parties interested in Proton include Naza and Mofaz, but DRB-HICOM is pretty confident in this matter. DRB-HICOM executive adviser of the group’s automotive and component division Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Omar says he believes DRB-HICOM has a 100% chance, as it makes sense for the government to put Proton under DRB-HICOM considering the Government is a common shareholder in the three companies involved - Proton, DRB-HICOM and EON. Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Omar used to be Perodua’s managing director, and spearheaded Perodua’s restructuring in 2001, which saw Daihatsu and other Japanese companies taking up equity and management control of it’s manufacturing division.
    • In other news, Proton Holdings Berhad chairman Datuk Azlan Hashim said talks about Volkswagen being shortlisted as a forerunner for Proton’s foreign strategic partner was pre-mature, and no decision has been made yet. The decision will be made by the shareholders, and an announcement will be made when the board is ready.
    • Source
    • Permalink Comments (28)
    • Proton Volkswagen updates: due diligence audit?
    • December 13, 2006 @ 5:06 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Continentals , Local News , Intl News , Rumours , Proton , Volkswagen
    •                 A report from AP says that Volkswagen AG may conduct a due diligence audit on Proton as discussions on a possible tie-up including stake transfer progresses further. Recent newspaper reports have suggested that Volkswagen is the forerunner in the bid to partner with Proton. Volkswagen’s possible 51% purchase into Proton’s manufacturing unit is said to be worth RM 2 billion ringgit, which will result in Proton gaining knowledge through tech transfers as well as a capital injection. Initially, Volkswagen might use Tanjung Malim to assemble the Volkswagen Passat model for the Japan market, taking advantage of Malaysia’s free trade agreement with Japan.
    • This will result in Volkswagen holding Proton’s manufacturing unit shares, but what is to happen to the government’s 43% stake in the main company Proton Holdings Bhd? This might be where the local partner comes in, a company like DRB-HICOM or Naza could purchase part or all of this stake from the government. Volkswagen is said to have the edge over PSA Peugeot-Citroen because PSA Peugeot-Citroen is interested in a partnership that could involve sales and joint model development collaboration but it did not want to involve a stake transfer.
    • Sources: IHT , Bernama
    • Related Posts: JMEPA: The reason Volkswagen wants Proton? Proton stake purchase updates PSA Peugeot Citroen and Proton to meet next week DRB-HICOM wants to help Proton DRB-HICOM confirms Proton share purchase talk Government gives green light to foreign control in Proton
    • Permalink Comments (26)
    • JMEPA: The reason Volkswagen wants Proton?
    • December 7, 2006 @ 11:11 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Japanese , Continentals , Local News , Intl News , Proton , Volkswagen
    •                 A friend of mine and I have always pondered, what was our Prime Minister doing when he handed out abolishment duty for inbound Japanese CBU and CKD packs by 2010 in exchange for duty free export of “fruits” (and others) to Japan in the recent Japan-Malaysia Economic Partnership Agreement (JMEPA), since we do not export any cars to Japan.
    • What we did not realise is duty free access to the Japanese market has increased the worth of Proton and it’s Tanjung Malim plant tremendously. A report by Forbes quoting AFX News says that the Malaysian government has short-listed Volkswagen AG to be Proton Holdings Bhd’s strategic alliance partner. Of course, being short-listed doesn’t mean Volkswagen will be the final partner chosen. Recent statements by the PM himself mentioned that the strategic partner will only be decided by Quarter 1 2007.
    • If Volkswagen is indeed The One , the deal will involve Volkswagen taking a 51% controlling stake in Proton’s manufacturing arm. Volkswagen wants to penetrate the Japanese market, and this is the reason for it’s keen interest in Proton - to use Tanjung Malim as an assembly base for Japan-bound cars. In return, Proton will receive sales aids and technology transfer.
    • Source
    • Related Links: JMEPA Press Statement Page 1 , Page 2
    • Permalink Comments (100)
    •                                                                              
    • Proton to sell CBU cars in Indonesia
    • December 7, 2006 @ 12:28 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Intl News , Proton
    •                 Here’s Proton’s plans to increase market share in Indonesia. For the moment, PT Proton Edar Indonesia will sell CBU (fully imported from Malaysia) sedans in the 1.3 liter to 1.8 liter capacity range, which is liable for 5% duty. Even with the duty slapped on, prices of Proton cars there is still cheaper than Japanese imports.
    • Apparently CKD assembly operations in Proton’s Cikarang plant will start when there is enough demand for Proton cars in Indonesia. But the question is, shouldn’t the purchase/building of a plant only come after volume justifying CKD operations has been reached?
    • Source
    • Permalink Comments (28)
    • Proton extends agreements
    • December 6, 2006 @ 12:18 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 Proton has once again extended it’s three running agreements with Mitsubishi Motors Corp Japan, Chery Automobile Co Ltd and Alado Corporation Sdn Bhd.
    • The Memorandum of Understanding between Proton and Mitsubishi has been extended for another three months, set to end on 2nd February 2007, while the feasibility study with Chery and it’s local partner Alado Corporation was extended to 28th February 2007.
    • I’m sure we all eagerly await the outcome, the first could possibly result in a new Mitsubishi-based model while the latter could result in better utilization of Proton’s coveted RM2 billion Tanjung Malim plant.
    • Source: Bursa Malaysia
    • Permalink Comments (27)
    • Proton Quarter 2 2006 Results
    • December 1, 2006 @ 4:51 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 Proton’s Quarter 2 2006 financial results have just been posted on the Bursa Malaysia announcement page, and the figures are still in red. Losses before tax for Quarter 2 2006 is RM 240,480,000, compared to RM 161,785,000 in Quarter 2 2005. This brings the total losses for the first half of this year to RM 336,016,000, compared to RM 169,146,000 for the same half year period of 2005. Reasons for this loss was reported to be a sluggish and competitive market which resulted in a lower sales volume. The market has certainly been sluggish, with October 2006 sales dropping by a huge 37 percent as compared to the same time period last year!
    •                                                           Click for enlarged version.
    • Source: BTimes , Bursa Malaysia
    • Permalink Comments (72)
    • EON Dealers want EON- Edar merger
    • November 30, 2006 @ 6:43 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                   The EON Dealers Association of Malaysia (EDAM) is supportive of a merger between EON and Proton Edar, as the current market situation has caused 80% of EON dealers to be unprofitable losing between RM15,000 to RM50,000 a month., with the remaining 20% seeing sales of 20 units or more a month.
    • There are now 400 Proton dealers in the country, comprising of both Proton Edar and EON outlets. An optimum number would be about 250 outlets after the two dealerships have been merged. EON previously closed down 10 sales branches and 4 service centers, as part of its rationalization exercise for greater efficiency.
    • Related Posts: EON closes down branches
    • Source
    • Permalink Comments (15)
    • 2007 Proton Savvy facelift at A1 GP Sepang
    • November 29, 2006 @ 4:44 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                              Proton showed us a sneak preview of the upcoming Proton Savvy facelift at the recent 2006 A1 Grand Prix event in Sepang. This photo is from a paultan.org visitor from Savoc.net . While the strange shoulderline is still there, the awkward rear end design that looks like the front of a Proton Waja is now gone - though the rear hatch still sinks in between the two rear lamp clusters. The Proton badge has been placed slightly upwards. Originally scheduled for public release this Friday, because of certain circumstances it looks like we’ll have to wait a little while longer than that for the new 2007 Proton Savvy facelift - just a little bit longer!
    • More photos at Savoc .
    • Permalink Comments (66)
    • Proton Satria Neo A1 Special Edition
    • November 24, 2006 @ 8:53 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                                                          
    • PROTON and A1 Team Malaysia unveiled the Proton Satria Neo A1 Team Malaysia Special Edition yesterday, a model that was developed with intention to go on sale next year. There are no prices and specifications yet, and the final model might differ from the one you see in this post.
    • I was not at the launch, but got these photos from Proton’s Corporate Communications. From what I see so far, the model comes in a special A1 yellow, has some new non-bling bling design wheels, a big spoiler at the rear, yellow meter panels, leather sports seats with yellow stitching, a sporty MOMO steering wheel, A1 special edition mats as well as a special edition plague near the gear shift.
    • More photos after the jump.
    • Read the rest of this entry »
    • Permalink Comments (109)
    • Proton Stake Purchase Updates
    • November 24, 2006 @ 2:30 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Continentals , Local News , Proton , Volkswagen , Peugeot , Citroën
    •                 Here are some due updates on the few companies that might end up as a new stakeholder in Proton, as well as have a controlling stake in it’s manufacturing arm.
    • Mofaz
    • Mofaz has teamed up with a foreign technical partner in it’s bid for a stake in Proton Holdings Bhd. This proposal was submitted three months ago, but the foreign partner in question was not named. Mofaz intends to help turn Proton around, and stresses this is more important than owning a stake in it. How do have the power to turn Proton around without having a controlling stake in Proton, I don’t know. Apparently Mofaz has it’s own way of influencing Proton’s management without a stake?! - Source
    • Sime Darby
    • No firm acknowledgement of the intention to buy shares so far. Sime Darby itself has had it’s shares suspended to be merged with Kumpulan Guthrie, and Golden Hope.
    • Naza
    • Naza, being a private company, has no Bursa Malaysia sending them queries to explain news so they’ve been quiet about this for quite sometime. But Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin SM Amin finally let the bird out of the cage at the launch of Naza’s new 3S facility at Juru. A letter of intent has been submitted two months ago to the government on the matter of the Naza Group acquiring a stake in Proton Holdings Bhd. Naza believes it can bring the company to greater heights. - Source
    • DRB-HICOM
    • Refer to this post for the latest on DRB-HICOM’s plans to take over Proton. No new updates since then.
    • Volkswagen
    • No word from Volkswagen themselves, but our government has confirmed it is in talks with Volkswagen again, with the possibility of a controlling stake purchase, which is what Volkswagen wanted but was denied before talks broke down some time ago.
    • PSA Peugeot Citroen
    • PSA’s technical team is in town to conduct feasibility studies in the areas of collaboration highlighted in the previous MoU signed. However, Proton says it is not aware of any intentions by PSA to take up a stake in Proton, while officials from PSA itself has mentioned that there are no intentions to take up a stake, merely to partner up for doing business together in the region. Since PSA Peugeot Citroen already has a preexisting partnership with the Naza Group, there seems to be some form of “tag team” of local and foreign partners in place here with Naza and PSA. If not so, then PSA’s collaboration with Proton could be for the Citroen brand instead - remember PSA Peugeot Citroen doesn’t necessarily mean Peugeot! - Source
    • Permalink Comments (31)
    • PSA Peugoet Citroen and Proton to meet next week
    • November 18, 2006 @ 11:06 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Continentals , Local News , Proton , Peugeot
    •                 Unnamed sources told the NST’s Business Times paper today that PSA Peugeot Citroen will be sending a top team to meet with Proton’s top management as well as officials from the Ministry of Finance and Khazanah Nasional on the proposed purchase of Proton shares.
    • Apparently this brief was scheduled to be presented later, but the time was brought forward due to pressure from the news of Volkswagen’s renewed interest in Proton’s manufacturing arm last week.
    • The proposal will include a proposed stake purchase in Proton’s manufacturing arm as well as technical tie-ups between the two car manufacturers that will benefit both parties. Possible collaboration in areas such as product development, manufacturing, quality initiatives, vendor development, contract assembly and distribution will be discussed.
    • On a side note, updates on this blog from now until next Wednesday might be scarce and sporadic as I will be out of the country - updates will depend on the availability of internet access in the hotel.
    • Permalink Comments (26)
    • DRB-HICOM wants to help Proton
    • November 16, 2006 @ 3:07 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 DRB-HICOM explained to the media yesterday the rationale behind it’s proposal to the government to purchase Proton shares owned by Khazanah Nasional. The proposal was on a preliminary level, and submitted a few weeks ago on its own initiative without an invitation from the govenrment, was yet to receive a response from the Government.
    • DRB-HICOM used to own more than 27% of Proton before selling that stake to Petronas in the year 2000. Now, Petronas owns 7%, while other majority shareholders are Khazanah Nasional which owns 43%, while the EPF owns 12%. Khazanah Nasional’s 43% is actually over the limit that Bursa Malaysia has set for shareholding, but being the government investment arm and all, an exception was made until Khazanah can find someone to buy off the excess shares.
    • DRB-HICOM says it submitted the proposal because it felt it can assist the development of Proton, especially the distribution and components side. On the matter of distribution, DRB-HICOM owns Proton distributor Edaran Otomobil Nasional Bhd.
    • DRB-HICOM also has no issues with a foreign partner, referring to the recent news on the government considering letting a foreign partner having a controlling stake in Proton’s manufacturing arm.
    • Sources: DRB-HICOM has plans for Proton DRB-HICOM: Proton stake offers synergy
    • Related Posts: DRB-HICOM confirms Proton share purchase talk Mofaz interested in Proton?
    • Permalink Comments (31)
    • DRB-HICOM confirms Proton share purchase talk
    • November 14, 2006 @ 10:40 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 DRB-HICOM said today in a reply to a Bursa Malaysia query on reports of it’s interest in purchasing Proton shares that it has submitted a proposal to the government in regards to the prospect of acquiring some of the shares in Proton Holdings Bhd.
    • At least now we have confirmation right from the company itself that someone wants to take off a portion of the large percentage of shares Khazanah Nasional is currently holding in Proton. Other companies rumoured to be interested in shares are the Naza group and Mofaz.
    • Read the Bursa Malaysia announcement .
    • Permalink Comments (13)
    • Nice Proton Savvy bodykit
    • November 10, 2006 @ 4:30 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Proton
    •                                                          
    • I spotted this very nice kitted out black Proton Savvy at the Mentari Business Park in Sunway this afternoon. Looks pretty nice, the owner went around what’s considered one of the Savvy’s biggest design “defect”, the Waja front lookalike embedded into the rear. Didn’t manage to get a photo of the front though, but it had a mesh grille.
    • Permalink Comments (64)
    • Govt gives green light to foreign control in Proton
    • November 9, 2006 @ 8:37 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 The online business daily with more little birds than you can ever imagine The Edge Daily - has a report quoting unnamed sources that the Malaysian government has given the go ahead on giving foreign parties 51% control in Proton’s manufacturing arm, with the keyword here being control. The online daily also reported that talks with Volkswagen AG have resumed as of last month. Proton is also in talks with two other companies - PSA Peugeot Citroen of France and Chery of China.
    • The potential arrangement between Proton and it’s foreign partner would be similiar to Perodua’s setup with Daihatsu, with distribution under local control but manufacturing under the foreign partner’s control.
    • With the government having finally realising that pride cannot get into the way of doing business properly, the question is now - is it too late?
    • Source
    • Related Readings: Proton to produce MPV and SUV with Chery Proton and PSA Peugeot Citroen sign letter of intent
    • Permalink Comments (69)
    • Mofaz interested in Proton?
    • November 7, 2006 @ 8:13 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 The Edge Weekly reports that the latest company to express interest in buying Proton shares is the Mofaz Group, a company that sells imported cars in Malaysia.
    • In other news, investors are still skeptical about Proton’s ability to turn around. HLG Research maintains it’s sell position on Proton shares, saying it needs foreign participation to compete globally.
    • Nevertheless, Proton sales in foreign markets such as UK have been slowly but surely improving, with sales in September 2006 for the Uk market doubling despite car registrations dropping by 3.5%. The Proton Satria Neo will be launched in the UK market early next year.
    • Source
    • Permalink Comments (29)
    • Proton Cars UK Sep 06 sales double
    • October 12, 2006 @ 6:12 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Intl News , Proton
    •                 A short news update on Proton performance in it’s export markets. Proton sales in the UK have doubled in September 2006 compared with the same month in September 2005, which is very good considering year to date car registrations in the UK have actually dropped 3.5% so far.
    • “ I am extremely pleased that we have again sustained a sales increase; we have achieved a rise in sales every month this year. Coming top in 11 different questions in the recent National Franchised Dealers Association Survey and our growing sales figures demonstrate that our dealers are responsive to our commitment and support ,” said Proton Cars UK General Manager of Sales and Marketing Simon Park.
    • Sales look to continue in the upward trend, and the Proton Satria Neo will be launched in early 2007.
    • Permalink Comments (109)
    • New variable intake geometry system for Campro
    • October 9, 2006 @ 8:49 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 EP Manufacturing Bhd (EPMB) will be supplying a new Intake Air-Fuel Module to Proton for use with it’s Campro range of engines, together with it’s technology partner Bosch.
    • Currently, Proton’s Campro engine uses a an aluminum manifold with a single airflow path. This will be replaced with a reinforced plastic molded manifold with variable airflow activated by flaps controlled by electronics from Bosch, and manufactured by EPMB.
    • The automotive-grade high-thermal plastic material used to make the new manifold is lighter, resulting in overall weight reduction, which will improve fuel consumption slightly. The new intake manifold will substantially improve the efficiency of air intake into the combustion chamber, and better combustion means better response, and increased torque output and smoother power delivery.
    • Lower end power will also be better, since airflow can be optimized for both low and high end engine speeds. Basically, this is a variable intake geometry system, also known as variable length intake manifold. Nothing cutting edge or new in the market, and has been in practice for years - like Porsche’s VarioRam, Mitsubishi’s Cyclone and Mazda’s VICS. But anything that can improve the performance of the Campro engine is welcomed, don’t you think? Another added effect is the ability to create a swirl effect in the intake air for a better air-fuel mix, if the manifold is designed to do so.
    • Development for the new variable intake system commenced as long as 12 months ago, and is currently in final advanced tooling stages. It’s expected that the system will be ready for production in the second half of 2007.
    • Source: EPMB , Bernama
    • Permalink Comments (79)
    • Proton to produce MPV and SUV with Chery
    • September 28, 2006 @ 7:51 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , China , Proton , Chery
    •                 More news on the Proton-Chery partnership - Business Times reported today that Proton Holdings Bhd may produce an MPV and an SUV model together with Chery Automobiles Co Ltd, according to Chery distributor Alado’s executive chairman Tan Sri Cam Soh Thiam Hong.
    • Previously Alado said it wanted to locally assemble the Chery Tiggo T11 SUV and the Chery V5 Crossover MPV here in Malaysia. So what Alado’s executives might have meant is Proton will assemble the Tiggo and V5 here in Malaysia for Chery, or Proton will come out with SUV and MPV models based on the Chery platforms. I think it’s more likely the former rather than the latter.
    • Related Posts: Chery Tiggo ( Chery T11) coming to Malaysia Chery V5 Crossover ( Chery B14) MPV
    • Source
    • Permalink Comments (91)
    • More on Lotus turnaround plan - Lotus Satria Neo?
    • September 23, 2006 @ 7:17 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Continentals , Local News , Intl News , Proton , Lotus
    •                We have more details on Group Lotus’ plan to turnaround the company within the next 5 years. Previous details on the plan revealed plans to produce more of it’s own cars, re-engineer third party cars, as well as expand it’s engineering consultancy business. More details about those details at this post .
    • Further details reveal that the flagship Lotus Esprit will be postponed to a end 2009, making it a 2010 model. Lotus says it needs more time to “insert more Lotus DNA” to ensure global competitiveness. Rumours previously had it that Lotus was to release the Esprit next year. The new Lotus Esprit is expected to be a mid-engine, rear wheel dirve layout and could use a 4.8 liter V8 DOHC unit from BMW, making more than 400 horsepower, which would be a real rocket combined with the Lotus philosophy of performance through weight reduction.
    • In the meanwhile, Lotus announced it will introduce a new mid-market level model in May 2008, as well as a new 4-seater high-performance model in collaboration with Proton - are we going to see a Proton car being tuned up in the style of the Lotus Carlton ? Bernama reports that this model will be based on the Proton Satria Neo . The Lotus line-up currently includes the Elise, the Exige and the Europa.
    • As part of it’s efforts to cut costs, Group Lotus also announced 200 job cuts in it’s manufacturing workforce. The Hethel plant workforce suffers because of the US market slowdown, which is the company’s biggest market. Rather than calling it downsizing, officials have said it is more of a “right-sizing.”
    • There are some rumours of Proton selling off Lotus like what it did to MV Agusta, but Proton’s MD Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir was quick to clarify that there are no such plans, not now and not in the future. He was quoted to say “We will make sure that Lotus will work. We must ensure Lotus is a success; there is no other way.”
    • Related Posts: Group Lotus 5-year turnaround plan .
    • Permalink Comments (15)
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    • Archive for Proton
    • DRB-HICOM explains 32.9% stake proposal rationale
    • December 17, 2006 @ 6:05 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 DRB-HICOM has presented their rationale for their proposal to buy 32.9% of Proton to the Cabinet commitee on transportation last Monday. Among DRB-HICOM’s plans for Proton if the government allows them to take over part of their 39% stake in Proton is the merger of Proton Edar and DRB-HICOM’s distribution unit EON, which also sells Proton cars amongst other marques.
    • DRB-HICOM says it can turn Proton into a profitable company within 2 years. DRB-HICOM also has no issues with working with a foreign partner in efforts to turn Proton around and lead it towards success. If no foreign partner is selected, DRB-HICOM already has existing working relationships with Renault and GM.
    • Other local parties interested in Proton include Naza and Mofaz, but DRB-HICOM is pretty confident in this matter. DRB-HICOM executive adviser of the group’s automotive and component division Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Omar says he believes DRB-HICOM has a 100% chance, as it makes sense for the government to put Proton under DRB-HICOM considering the Government is a common shareholder in the three companies involved - Proton, DRB-HICOM and EON. Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Omar used to be Perodua’s managing director, and spearheaded Perodua’s restructuring in 2001, which saw Daihatsu and other Japanese companies taking up equity and management control of it’s manufacturing division.
    • In other news, Proton Holdings Berhad chairman Datuk Azlan Hashim said talks about Volkswagen being shortlisted as a forerunner for Proton’s foreign strategic partner was pre-mature, and no decision has been made yet. The decision will be made by the shareholders, and an announcement will be made when the board is ready.
    • Source
    • Permalink Comments (28)
    • Proton Volkswagen updates: due diligence audit?
    • December 13, 2006 @ 5:06 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Continentals , Local News , Intl News , Rumours , Proton , Volkswagen
    •                 A report from AP says that Volkswagen AG may conduct a due diligence audit on Proton as discussions on a possible tie-up including stake transfer progresses further. Recent newspaper reports have suggested that Volkswagen is the forerunner in the bid to partner with Proton. Volkswagen’s possible 51% purchase into Proton’s manufacturing unit is said to be worth RM 2 billion ringgit, which will result in Proton gaining knowledge through tech transfers as well as a capital injection. Initially, Volkswagen might use Tanjung Malim to assemble the Volkswagen Passat model for the Japan market, taking advantage of Malaysia’s free trade agreement with Japan.
    • This will result in Volkswagen holding Proton’s manufacturing unit shares, but what is to happen to the government’s 43% stake in the main company Proton Holdings Bhd? This might be where the local partner comes in, a company like DRB-HICOM or Naza could purchase part or all of this stake from the government. Volkswagen is said to have the edge over PSA Peugeot-Citroen because PSA Peugeot-Citroen is interested in a partnership that could involve sales and joint model development collaboration but it did not want to involve a stake transfer.
    • Sources: IHT , Bernama
    • Related Posts: JMEPA: The reason Volkswagen wants Proton? Proton stake purchase updates PSA Peugeot Citroen and Proton to meet next week DRB-HICOM wants to help Proton DRB-HICOM confirms Proton share purchase talk Government gives green light to foreign control in Proton
    • Permalink Comments (26)
    • JMEPA: The reason Volkswagen wants Proton?
    • December 7, 2006 @ 11:11 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Japanese , Continentals , Local News , Intl News , Proton , Volkswagen
    •                 A friend of mine and I have always pondered, what was our Prime Minister doing when he handed out abolishment duty for inbound Japanese CBU and CKD packs by 2010 in exchange for duty free export of “fruits” (and others) to Japan in the recent Japan-Malaysia Economic Partnership Agreement (JMEPA), since we do not export any cars to Japan.
    • What we did not realise is duty free access to the Japanese market has increased the worth of Proton and it’s Tanjung Malim plant tremendously. A report by Forbes quoting AFX News says that the Malaysian government has short-listed Volkswagen AG to be Proton Holdings Bhd’s strategic alliance partner. Of course, being short-listed doesn’t mean Volkswagen will be the final partner chosen. Recent statements by the PM himself mentioned that the strategic partner will only be decided by Quarter 1 2007.
    • If Volkswagen is indeed The One , the deal will involve Volkswagen taking a 51% controlling stake in Proton’s manufacturing arm. Volkswagen wants to penetrate the Japanese market, and this is the reason for it’s keen interest in Proton - to use Tanjung Malim as an assembly base for Japan-bound cars. In return, Proton will receive sales aids and technology transfer.
    • Source
    • Related Links: JMEPA Press Statement Page 1 , Page 2
    • Permalink Comments (100)
    •                                                                              
    • Proton to sell CBU cars in Indonesia
    • December 7, 2006 @ 12:28 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Intl News , Proton
    •                 Here’s Proton’s plans to increase market share in Indonesia. For the moment, PT Proton Edar Indonesia will sell CBU (fully imported from Malaysia) sedans in the 1.3 liter to 1.8 liter capacity range, which is liable for 5% duty. Even with the duty slapped on, prices of Proton cars there is still cheaper than Japanese imports.
    • Apparently CKD assembly operations in Proton’s Cikarang plant will start when there is enough demand for Proton cars in Indonesia. But the question is, shouldn’t the purchase/building of a plant only come after volume justifying CKD operations has been reached?
    • Source
    • Permalink Comments (28)
    • Proton extends agreements
    • December 6, 2006 @ 12:18 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 Proton has once again extended it’s three running agreements with Mitsubishi Motors Corp Japan, Chery Automobile Co Ltd and Alado Corporation Sdn Bhd.
    • The Memorandum of Understanding between Proton and Mitsubishi has been extended for another three months, set to end on 2nd February 2007, while the feasibility study with Chery and it’s local partner Alado Corporation was extended to 28th February 2007.
    • I’m sure we all eagerly await the outcome, the first could possibly result in a new Mitsubishi-based model while the latter could result in better utilization of Proton’s coveted RM2 billion Tanjung Malim plant.
    • Source: Bursa Malaysia
    • Permalink Comments (27)
    • Proton Quarter 2 2006 Results
    • December 1, 2006 @ 4:51 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 Proton’s Quarter 2 2006 financial results have just been posted on the Bursa Malaysia announcement page, and the figures are still in red. Losses before tax for Quarter 2 2006 is RM 240,480,000, compared to RM 161,785,000 in Quarter 2 2005. This brings the total losses for the first half of this year to RM 336,016,000, compared to RM 169,146,000 for the same half year period of 2005. Reasons for this loss was reported to be a sluggish and competitive market which resulted in a lower sales volume. The market has certainly been sluggish, with October 2006 sales dropping by a huge 37 percent as compared to the same time period last year!
    •                                                           Click for enlarged version.
    • Source: BTimes , Bursa Malaysia
    • Permalink Comments (72)
    • EON Dealers want EON- Edar merger
    • November 30, 2006 @ 6:43 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                   The EON Dealers Association of Malaysia (EDAM) is supportive of a merger between EON and Proton Edar, as the current market situation has caused 80% of EON dealers to be unprofitable losing between RM15,000 to RM50,000 a month., with the remaining 20% seeing sales of 20 units or more a month.
    • There are now 400 Proton dealers in the country, comprising of both Proton Edar and EON outlets. An optimum number would be about 250 outlets after the two dealerships have been merged. EON previously closed down 10 sales branches and 4 service centers, as part of its rationalization exercise for greater efficiency.
    • Related Posts: EON closes down branches
    • Source
    • Permalink Comments (15)
    • 2007 Proton Savvy facelift at A1 GP Sepang
    • November 29, 2006 @ 4:44 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                              Proton showed us a sneak preview of the upcoming Proton Savvy facelift at the recent 2006 A1 Grand Prix event in Sepang. This photo is from a paultan.org visitor from Savoc.net . While the strange shoulderline is still there, the awkward rear end design that looks like the front of a Proton Waja is now gone - though the rear hatch still sinks in between the two rear lamp clusters. The Proton badge has been placed slightly upwards. Originally scheduled for public release this Friday, because of certain circumstances it looks like we’ll have to wait a little while longer than that for the new 2007 Proton Savvy facelift - just a little bit longer!
    • More photos at Savoc .
    • Permalink Comments (66)
    • Proton Satria Neo A1 Special Edition
    • November 24, 2006 @ 8:53 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                                                          
    • PROTON and A1 Team Malaysia unveiled the Proton Satria Neo A1 Team Malaysia Special Edition yesterday, a model that was developed with intention to go on sale next year. There are no prices and specifications yet, and the final model might differ from the one you see in this post.
    • I was not at the launch, but got these photos from Proton’s Corporate Communications. From what I see so far, the model comes in a special A1 yellow, has some new non-bling bling design wheels, a big spoiler at the rear, yellow meter panels, leather sports seats with yellow stitching, a sporty MOMO steering wheel, A1 special edition mats as well as a special edition plague near the gear shift.
    • More photos after the jump.
    • Read the rest of this entry »
    • Permalink Comments (109)
    • Proton Stake Purchase Updates
    • November 24, 2006 @ 2:30 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Continentals , Local News , Proton , Volkswagen , Peugeot , Citroën
    •                 Here are some due updates on the few companies that might end up as a new stakeholder in Proton, as well as have a controlling stake in it’s manufacturing arm.
    • Mofaz
    • Mofaz has teamed up with a foreign technical partner in it’s bid for a stake in Proton Holdings Bhd. This proposal was submitted three months ago, but the foreign partner in question was not named. Mofaz intends to help turn Proton around, and stresses this is more important than owning a stake in it. How do have the power to turn Proton around without having a controlling stake in Proton, I don’t know. Apparently Mofaz has it’s own way of influencing Proton’s management without a stake?! - Source
    • Sime Darby
    • No firm acknowledgement of the intention to buy shares so far. Sime Darby itself has had it’s shares suspended to be merged with Kumpulan Guthrie, and Golden Hope.
    • Naza
    • Naza, being a private company, has no Bursa Malaysia sending them queries to explain news so they’ve been quiet about this for quite sometime. But Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin SM Amin finally let the bird out of the cage at the launch of Naza’s new 3S facility at Juru. A letter of intent has been submitted two months ago to the government on the matter of the Naza Group acquiring a stake in Proton Holdings Bhd. Naza believes it can bring the company to greater heights. - Source
    • DRB-HICOM
    • Refer to this post for the latest on DRB-HICOM’s plans to take over Proton. No new updates since then.
    • Volkswagen
    • No word from Volkswagen themselves, but our government has confirmed it is in talks with Volkswagen again, with the possibility of a controlling stake purchase, which is what Volkswagen wanted but was denied before talks broke down some time ago.
    • PSA Peugeot Citroen
    • PSA’s technical team is in town to conduct feasibility studies in the areas of collaboration highlighted in the previous MoU signed. However, Proton says it is not aware of any intentions by PSA to take up a stake in Proton, while officials from PSA itself has mentioned that there are no intentions to take up a stake, merely to partner up for doing business together in the region. Since PSA Peugeot Citroen already has a preexisting partnership with the Naza Group, there seems to be some form of “tag team” of local and foreign partners in place here with Naza and PSA. If not so, then PSA’s collaboration with Proton could be for the Citroen brand instead - remember PSA Peugeot Citroen doesn’t necessarily mean Peugeot! - Source
    • Permalink Comments (31)
    • PSA Peugoet Citroen and Proton to meet next week
    • November 18, 2006 @ 11:06 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Continentals , Local News , Proton , Peugeot
    •                 Unnamed sources told the NST’s Business Times paper today that PSA Peugeot Citroen will be sending a top team to meet with Proton’s top management as well as officials from the Ministry of Finance and Khazanah Nasional on the proposed purchase of Proton shares.
    • Apparently this brief was scheduled to be presented later, but the time was brought forward due to pressure from the news of Volkswagen’s renewed interest in Proton’s manufacturing arm last week.
    • The proposal will include a proposed stake purchase in Proton’s manufacturing arm as well as technical tie-ups between the two car manufacturers that will benefit both parties. Possible collaboration in areas such as product development, manufacturing, quality initiatives, vendor development, contract assembly and distribution will be discussed.
    • On a side note, updates on this blog from now until next Wednesday might be scarce and sporadic as I will be out of the country - updates will depend on the availability of internet access in the hotel.
    • Permalink Comments (26)
    • DRB-HICOM wants to help Proton
    • November 16, 2006 @ 3:07 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 DRB-HICOM explained to the media yesterday the rationale behind it’s proposal to the government to purchase Proton shares owned by Khazanah Nasional. The proposal was on a preliminary level, and submitted a few weeks ago on its own initiative without an invitation from the govenrment, was yet to receive a response from the Government.
    • DRB-HICOM used to own more than 27% of Proton before selling that stake to Petronas in the year 2000. Now, Petronas owns 7%, while other majority shareholders are Khazanah Nasional which owns 43%, while the EPF owns 12%. Khazanah Nasional’s 43% is actually over the limit that Bursa Malaysia has set for shareholding, but being the government investment arm and all, an exception was made until Khazanah can find someone to buy off the excess shares.
    • DRB-HICOM says it submitted the proposal because it felt it can assist the development of Proton, especially the distribution and components side. On the matter of distribution, DRB-HICOM owns Proton distributor Edaran Otomobil Nasional Bhd.
    • DRB-HICOM also has no issues with a foreign partner, referring to the recent news on the government considering letting a foreign partner having a controlling stake in Proton’s manufacturing arm.
    • Sources: DRB-HICOM has plans for Proton DRB-HICOM: Proton stake offers synergy
    • Related Posts: DRB-HICOM confirms Proton share purchase talk Mofaz interested in Proton?
    • Permalink Comments (31)
    • DRB-HICOM confirms Proton share purchase talk
    • November 14, 2006 @ 10:40 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 DRB-HICOM said today in a reply to a Bursa Malaysia query on reports of it’s interest in purchasing Proton shares that it has submitted a proposal to the government in regards to the prospect of acquiring some of the shares in Proton Holdings Bhd.
    • At least now we have confirmation right from the company itself that someone wants to take off a portion of the large percentage of shares Khazanah Nasional is currently holding in Proton. Other companies rumoured to be interested in shares are the Naza group and Mofaz.
    • Read the Bursa Malaysia announcement .
    • Permalink Comments (13)
    • Nice Proton Savvy bodykit
    • November 10, 2006 @ 4:30 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Proton
    •                                                          
    • I spotted this very nice kitted out black Proton Savvy at the Mentari Business Park in Sunway this afternoon. Looks pretty nice, the owner went around what’s considered one of the Savvy’s biggest design “defect”, the Waja front lookalike embedded into the rear. Didn’t manage to get a photo of the front though, but it had a mesh grille.
    • Permalink Comments (64)
    • Govt gives green light to foreign control in Proton
    • November 9, 2006 @ 8:37 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 The online business daily with more little birds than you can ever imagine The Edge Daily - has a report quoting unnamed sources that the Malaysian government has given the go ahead on giving foreign parties 51% control in Proton’s manufacturing arm, with the keyword here being control. The online daily also reported that talks with Volkswagen AG have resumed as of last month. Proton is also in talks with two other companies - PSA Peugeot Citroen of France and Chery of China.
    • The potential arrangement between Proton and it’s foreign partner would be similiar to Perodua’s setup with Daihatsu, with distribution under local control but manufacturing under the foreign partner’s control.
    • With the government having finally realising that pride cannot get into the way of doing business properly, the question is now - is it too late?
    • Source
    • Related Readings: Proton to produce MPV and SUV with Chery Proton and PSA Peugeot Citroen sign letter of intent
    • Permalink Comments (69)
    • Mofaz interested in Proton?
    • November 7, 2006 @ 8:13 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 The Edge Weekly reports that the latest company to express interest in buying Proton shares is the Mofaz Group, a company that sells imported cars in Malaysia.
    • In other news, investors are still skeptical about Proton’s ability to turn around. HLG Research maintains it’s sell position on Proton shares, saying it needs foreign participation to compete globally.
    • Nevertheless, Proton sales in foreign markets such as UK have been slowly but surely improving, with sales in September 2006 for the Uk market doubling despite car registrations dropping by 3.5%. The Proton Satria Neo will be launched in the UK market early next year.
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    • Proton Cars UK Sep 06 sales double
    • October 12, 2006 @ 6:12 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Intl News , Proton
    •                 A short news update on Proton performance in it’s export markets. Proton sales in the UK have doubled in September 2006 compared with the same month in September 2005, which is very good considering year to date car registrations in the UK have actually dropped 3.5% so far.
    • “ I am extremely pleased that we have again sustained a sales increase; we have achieved a rise in sales every month this year. Coming top in 11 different questions in the recent National Franchised Dealers Association Survey and our growing sales figures demonstrate that our dealers are responsive to our commitment and support ,” said Proton Cars UK General Manager of Sales and Marketing Simon Park.
    • Sales look to continue in the upward trend, and the Proton Satria Neo will be launched in early 2007.
    • Permalink Comments (109)
    • New variable intake geometry system for Campro
    • October 9, 2006 @ 8:49 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , Proton
    •                 EP Manufacturing Bhd (EPMB) will be supplying a new Intake Air-Fuel Module to Proton for use with it’s Campro range of engines, together with it’s technology partner Bosch.
    • Currently, Proton’s Campro engine uses a an aluminum manifold with a single airflow path. This will be replaced with a reinforced plastic molded manifold with variable airflow activated by flaps controlled by electronics from Bosch, and manufactured by EPMB.
    • The automotive-grade high-thermal plastic material used to make the new manifold is lighter, resulting in overall weight reduction, which will improve fuel consumption slightly. The new intake manifold will substantially improve the efficiency of air intake into the combustion chamber, and better combustion means better response, and increased torque output and smoother power delivery.
    • Lower end power will also be better, since airflow can be optimized for both low and high end engine speeds. Basically, this is a variable intake geometry system, also known as variable length intake manifold. Nothing cutting edge or new in the market, and has been in practice for years - like Porsche’s VarioRam, Mitsubishi’s Cyclone and Mazda’s VICS. But anything that can improve the performance of the Campro engine is welcomed, don’t you think? Another added effect is the ability to create a swirl effect in the intake air for a better air-fuel mix, if the manifold is designed to do so.
    • Development for the new variable intake system commenced as long as 12 months ago, and is currently in final advanced tooling stages. It’s expected that the system will be ready for production in the second half of 2007.
    • Source: EPMB , Bernama
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    • Proton to produce MPV and SUV with Chery
    • September 28, 2006 @ 7:51 am · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Local News , China , Proton , Chery
    •                 More news on the Proton-Chery partnership - Business Times reported today that Proton Holdings Bhd may produce an MPV and an SUV model together with Chery Automobiles Co Ltd, according to Chery distributor Alado’s executive chairman Tan Sri Cam Soh Thiam Hong.
    • Previously Alado said it wanted to locally assemble the Chery Tiggo T11 SUV and the Chery V5 Crossover MPV here in Malaysia. So what Alado’s executives might have meant is Proton will assemble the Tiggo and V5 here in Malaysia for Chery, or Proton will come out with SUV and MPV models based on the Chery platforms. I think it’s more likely the former rather than the latter.
    • Related Posts: Chery Tiggo ( Chery T11) coming to Malaysia Chery V5 Crossover ( Chery B14) MPV
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    • More on Lotus turnaround plan - Lotus Satria Neo?
    • September 23, 2006 @ 7:17 pm · Filed under Cars , Malaysian Makes , Continentals , Local News , Intl News , Proton , Lotus
    •                We have more details on Group Lotus’ plan to turnaround the company within the next 5 years. Previous details on the plan revealed plans to produce more of it’s own cars, re-engineer third party cars, as well as expand it’s engineering consultancy business. More details about those details at this post .
    • Further details reveal that the flagship Lotus Esprit will be postponed to a end 2009, making it a 2010 model. Lotus says it needs more time to “insert more Lotus DNA” to ensure global competitiveness. Rumours previously had it that Lotus was to release the Esprit next year. The new Lotus Esprit is expected to be a mid-engine, rear wheel dirve layout and could use a 4.8 liter V8 DOHC unit from BMW, making more than 400 horsepower, which would be a real rocket combined with the Lotus philosophy of performance through weight reduction.
    • In the meanwhile, Lotus announced it will introduce a new mid-market level model in May 2008, as well as a new 4-seater high-performance model in collaboration with Proton - are we going to see a Proton car being tuned up in the style of the Lotus Carlton ? Bernama reports that this model will be based on the Proton Satria Neo . The Lotus line-up currently includes the Elise, the Exige and the Europa.
    • As part of it’s efforts to cut costs, Group Lotus also announced 200 job cuts in it’s manufacturing workforce. The Hethel plant workforce suffers because of the US market slowdown, which is the company’s biggest market. Rather than calling it downsizing, officials have said it is more of a “right-sizing.”
    • There are some rumours of Proton selling off Lotus like what it did to MV Agusta, but Proton’s MD Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir was quick to clarify that there are no such plans, not now and not in the future. He was quoted to say “We will make sure that Lotus will work. We must ensure Lotus is a success; there is no other way.”
    • Related Posts: Group Lotus 5-year turnaround plan .
    • Permalink Comments (15)
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    July 20, 2006 Corporate governance for state enterprises In spite of extensive privatization over the last two decades, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are still a mainstay in many developing economies. China, India, Russia and South Africa are just a few countries where wholly or partly government-owned SOEs remain productive and influential. Good corporate governance is crucial for SOEs in emerging markets, because they face even more governance challenges than private companies do. Unlike a widely-held private company, an SOE usually cannot have its board or management changed via a takeover or proxy contest, and they usually cannot go bankrupt. In addition, they may have "free" equity and a very low cost of subsidized loans. Thus, the incentives for board members and managers to maximize the value of the company and keep costs in check are reduced. Accountability and performance may also be hindered by political interference, poorly defined non-commercial objectives, and an absence of transparency. Strong internal controls, good disclosure, independent boards of directors, and other corporate governance tools can help state-owned enterprises perform well and act in the best interests of citizens and other shareholders. A new World Bank paper from David Robinett discusses corporate governance of SOEs in eme