The Proton Saga continues! The Edge carried a report today that Volkswagen and Proton will be forming a new joint venture company to carry out joint model development and marketing, with Volkswagen holding 51% as well as manufacturing, research and development and engineering division control, while Proton holds the remainder 49% and control of other parts such as sales.
This report caused Proton shares to rise as much as 21%. The same report also mentioned that Sime Darby Berhad will be taking over Khazanah Nasional’s 43% share in the company, something that comes as a surprise to me as Sime Darby has been quiet all this while, with the local forerunners seen as DRB-HICOM and the Naza Group. It is said that this deal will be finalised during the Khazanah Nasional and Volkswagen meeting in New York while Khazanah officials are there attending a roadshow organised by a Malaysian stockbroker for US investors.
So far, attempts by papers to contact Sime Darby, Khazanah Nasional and Proton spokespersons were unsuccessful. Before you celebrate, here comes the punchline – Volkswagen spokesperson Andreas Meurer says “This report is definitely wrong and only rumor without substance. We will have a round of talks soon”, referring to The Edge’s report.
The thing is, is there truth to The Edge’s report or not? If it is true, is Volkswagen is merely steering clear of rumours and denying anything before things are concrete? I certainly hope so.
And the saga continues…