[ UPDATE: The talks have finally ended in a no go. Click here for latest update. ]
The verdict is out. After a long series of meetings and what not since September 2004 since Proton and Volkswagen first announced a strategic partnership, everything has fallen to ruins and things are now over between the two car manufacturers.
Volkswagen Group Chief Executive Bernd Pischetsrieder told analysts at the North American Auto Show that Volkswagen’s plans on how to move forward with the Proton partnership conflicted with what the Malaysian Government and Proton had in mind.
Apparently Volkswagen’s plans were pretty rigid, thus when ideas conflicted, the decision was to just drop the whole idea altogether.
Right now they are still in talks on cooperation but it would only be in a few isolated projects to support Proton, and not have any joint programs or joint ventures. According to reporters, Pischetsrieder put strong emphasis on the word support.
Update: Proton shares fell as much as 20% to RM5.10 before exchanging at RM5.60 at 10.46am today. HLG Securities downgraded Proton shares status to ‘sell’. Proton officials said they were suprised by the announcement as they have yet to receive an official reply from Volkswagen.