Proton is expected to announce a non-exclusive alliance with a Chinese firm this week. At one point, Proton’s board had thought about an exclusive partnership with one firm, but Datuk Azlan Hashim told reports that Proton’s board had re-thought the situation and consluded it was better to have several strategic partners in multiple areas like products, components, market access and other activities. Are we looking at a “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” philosophy being put into effect here? The partnership is expected to be finalised in April.
Previously there were rumours on tie-ups between Proton and Chery, as well as Proton and Jinhua Young Man related to car assembly in China. There were not much follow-up on the Chery rumour, however StarBiz reports today that Proton would be selling CKD kits of cars like the Proton GEN-2 to Jinhua QingNian. I think it’s safe to assume Jinhua QingNian is Jinhua Young Man as they are both from ZheJiang.
It is hoped that this partnership will boost Proton’s economies of scale. Jinhua QingNian currently builds luxury coaches and trucks, and hopes to enter the passanger car market with Proton’s CKD kits. The cars will be marketed under Jinhua’s own brand and logo in China. If all goes well and the CKD kits have good sales in the China market, it will definitely improve Proton’s profitability as economies of scale improves and cost per part goes down. Good move, Proton.