Proton logoProton Vendors Association president Dr Wan Mohamed Wan Embong says automotive vendors in Malaysia needs to speed up mergers and acquisitions so that Proton vendors will be stronger and will be able to perform in-house design and development including costly engineering and testing, as small and medium vendors would probably not be able to afford such R&D.

Sometime last month, the government announced a RM400 million fund under the Automotive Industry Development Fund for financial assistance for Proton vendors to improve quality and production levels.

A story back in 2006 mentioned that Proton had 270 vendors at that time. Proton now still has over 200 suppliers, but only 140 of them are members of the Proton Vendors Association. Even back during those times, the efforts for consolidation had already begun, but the process seems to be taking a long time.

“It is slow because it is not a easy task to group the entrepreneurs into one, where they have to report to possibly a boss again. And the fact that when you want to be an entrepreneur you have to be independent,” Dr Wan Mohamed added.

Dr Wan Mohamed himself is involved in a consolidation of four vendors under a new company called Automotive Network Alliances which specialises in car interior trim and noise control products.

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