An article in The Edge Daily on 28th June 2005…

Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz has told Proton Holdings Bhd not to point fingers at others for its own shortcomings, but to look inwards for solutions and find its own market segment to remain competitive.

This is probably in response to this.

“I have confidence in the new (Proton) chairman and Im sure (Datuk Mohd) Azlan (Hashim) would do his best to make Proton more dynamic in the context of global competition.

A cheap shot at Tengku Mahaleel.

Rafidah reiterated her previous statements that she did not have any interests, financially or otherwise, in the NAZA group. “I have nothing to do with Tan Sri Nasimuddin Amin, business wise or anything. I have no connection to NAZA Motors,” she said.

For the full article archived at my site from The Edge, click more.

28-06-2005: Proton should not blame others for its problems, says Rafidah
By Tamimi Omar

Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz has told Proton Holdings Bhd not to point fingers at others for its own shortcomings, but to look inwards for solutions and find its own market segment to remain competitive.

“I hope Proton would stop looking for others to blame and look inwards for re-thinking,” she said, adding that unless Proton re-looked at its market target, it would be hard-pressed to compete globally with other makes, especially those from Korea, price-wise.

Rafidah said competitors were few relative to the total number of imports, which was only 10% of total cars produced a year and the imports also included cars which were not in direct competition with Proton such as Mercedes Benz and BMW.

“So find your own niches and there will be niches. We used to export 27,000 cars and we can do that again,” Rafidah said.

“So if Proton cannot compete, then there must be something wrong with Proton.”

Rafidah quoted one Korean-made car priced at US$8,000 (RM30,400) a unit, which even beat Japanese-made cars in terms of quality and pricing.

“Im telling you (that you) cannot compete with Korean cars, either in Korea or Malaysia; it is out of the question because they are so cheap they bring big mass production,” Rafidah said after launching NAZA Group of Companies Auto Mall on June 28.

Rafidah said MITI was protecting local automotive manufacturers such as Proton and Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) to allow them to hold over 80% of the local market share. “We only bring in 10% of total production; Proton and Perodua can capture more than 80% of market share,” Rafidah said.

“I have confidence in the new (Proton) chairman and Im sure (Datuk Mohd) Azlan (Hashim) would do his best to make Proton more dynamic in the context of global competition.

Rafidah reiterated her previous statements that she did not have any interests, financially or otherwise, in the NAZA group. “I have nothing to do with Tan Sri Nasimuddin Amin, business wise or anything. I have no connection to NAZA Motors,” she said.

On the new automotive policy, Rafidah said she had informed the cabinet that MITI in collaboration with industry players were formulating strategies to expand the local automotive industry.

“This involves not just automobiles but also motorcycles and components and parts as we would want to make Malaysia a manufacturing hub for all items related to the automotive industry in this region,” she said.

“To achieve that we need to create an atmosphere which would get locals and foreigners to invest heavily in the various activities in the automotive industry.

“We are refining the draft. Ive taken a look at the draft and there are a few things that we have to discuss, this involves not just duties, as we all know the duties will be reduced to Asean standards. This will be announced by the Finance Ministry,” she said.

She clarified that the automotive policy was not related to the duty structure but on strategies, such as other incentives and prudent measures to make Malaysia a regional hub for investors.

“I cannot elaborate on the details at the moment, I will bring this forward to the Cabinet and this would be like a master plan or blueprint for the way forward for the national automotive industry,” she said.

Rafidah added that the blueprint was being fine-tuned into a more comprehensive working paper.

“There is no problem, the industry already knows the new rates; its just the announcement,” she said.

On the ringgit peg, she said: “The government has studied on a daily basis the movements of the foreign exchange especially on strong currencies such as the Euro, Yen and dollar, other currencies in the region and other currencies in competition with our own and analysed the effects of the movement of the forex on our economy”.

“If there is feedback from industries to Bank Negara that our competitiveness is compromised, then it would be prudent for our currency to be revalued.

“But as I am speaking to you now, there is no indication to change the number from RM3.80 per dollar to three point something; monitoring is currently done by Bank Negara, the Finance Ministry and Economic Planning Unit,” she said.

Original Source


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