According to a report by The Star, Proton Holdings Bhd is seeking up to RM3 billion to fund the development of new models. A source told the English daily that MITI and Petronas have declined to assist in the funding, after the national carmaker approached them last year.
The report also reveals that Proton has appointed Datuk Abdul Harith Abdullah as acting CEO to replace Datuk Lukman Ibrahim. Lukman first announced his resignation in July 2013, citing personal reasons, but rescinded that decision after a few months. Rumours concerning a second resignation surfaced last month – unconfirmed by Proton so far.
Proton has committed RM3.8 billion in investments until 2017 and needs more capital to be competitive and achieve its turnaround plan (350,000 sales by 2018), while Perodua has committed RM1.8 billion until 2015, according to The Star. See 2013 MAA sales figures.
With drops in sales and market share of late, analysts foresee a mountain to climb for Proton, in light of NAP 2014‘s aims to liberalise the market, and Perodua’s steady performance thus far. Will the Global Small Car be able to change Proton’s fortunes?