The results of Proton’s most recent round of talks with Volkswagen are out and the verdict is NO – there won’t be any cooperation, collaboration or partnership of any form between the two companies. This is the second time that a potential partnership between the two companies has fallen through.
According to a media release sent out by Proton just a few hours ago, Volkswagen confirmed that it has other priorities and could not pursue a potential collaboration with Proton. Proton says it acknowledges this decision made by Volkswagen and will continue to work on its ASEAN Multi-Local OEM strategy and pursue its other ongoing projects such as the EMAS project and its Mitsubishi product collaboration deal. It also has other new model developments in works.
So yes, as the Chairman promised not too long ago, the company did reveal the outcome of talks in one to two weeks, unfortunately the outcome is not one that is positive. But nevermind, there is still alot to look forward to from Proton without some form of collaboration with the German giant Volkswagen Group such as the turbocharged Phoenix engine as well as the next generation Persona replacement and the EMAS project, both which are currently being worked on by both Proton and Italdesign Giugiaro.
There is another side to this which is the question – how will Volkswagen setup their CKD assembly in Malaysia now, or do they even still have any CKD plans for Malaysia at all? A CKD assembly deal was one of the potential collaborations rumored to be discussed between the two companies. Back in March 2010, VGM MD Andreas Prinz told the press at the Volkswagen PJ 3S center that it would be finalizing its CKD plans by the first half of this year, with the first CKD models to be rolling out in 12 to 18 months after the announcement.
As for the ‘other priorities’, I have a feeling it’s something to do with attempting to fully assimilate Suzuki and use that brand to both get a very strong foothold in the growing Indian market as well as achieve whatever Volkswagen intended with Proton a long time ago when they were in talks the first time.