Proton’s sales for the year 2006 dropped 30.4% from 166,118 in 2006 to 115,538, while the total industry volume dropped 11% from a record high of 552,316 in 2005 to 490,768 units in 2006. MAA’s forecast for 2006 was 520,000 units. MAA hopes the industry will improve in the second half of 2007, but the first half is expected to continue to be depressed.

In other Proton news, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) acquired an additional 830,000 shares in a transaction that spanned between January 5th and January 12th 2007. This trading was done on the open market. EPF now has 69.25 million shares. GM has reported to be willing to pay a premium over the market price. Is this a move to profit from any possible stake transfer to a foreign party at higher than market price?