Proton has made a few announcements today, let me go through them one by one. They’re mostly to do with memorandum of understanding and intent signed with other companies.

Proton reports that the Memorandum of Intent between Proton and Petronas has ended, and both parties are now assessing alternative engine sourcing opportunities. I am not sure if I am right, but from what I can understand by “assessing alternatives”, it looks like Proton will not be using the Petronas E01-based technology for it’s larger displacement engines.

The Memorandum of Understanding with Mitsubishi Motors Corporation to be extended for another 3 months, ending in November 2006. This is subject to the approval of the Board of Directors of both parties. This MoU was signed to explore the feasibility of cooperation between Mitsubishi and Proton in the development of new vehicles and components supply. The new model in question is the most likely the Perdana Replacement Model, said to be based on the Mitsubishi 380. Previously, Proton announced that it has completed technical feasibility studies and was proceeding to commercial feasibility studies.

Memorandum of Understanding between Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sdn Bhd, Chery Automobile Co Ltd and Alado Corporation Sdn Bhd to be extended for another 2 months subject to approval of Board of Directors of all three companies. This is likely to do with the talks Proton has been having with Chery on a joint venture in assembly and distribution for Proton cars in China as well as Chery cars in Malaysia.

The joint feasibility study between Lotus Engineering Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Youngman Automobile Group Co Ltd (Jinhua Youngman) will end on 28th September 2006. The study is current in the financial, legal and marketing aspect phase.

Proton Holdings Berhad has subscribed to an additional 7,167,827 Redeemable Convertible Preference Shares of RM0.10 each in Lotus Advance Technologies Sdn Bhd at an issue price of RM1.00 per share – a total of RM7,168,827 cash. This will bring Proton Holdings Berhad shareholding in Lotus Advance Technologies Sdn Bhd to a total of 19,176,627 shares.

This is in response to a capital call by LAT to fund capital expenditure of Miyazu (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, a tool and die company which is a 51% subsidiary of Lotus Advance Technologies Sdn Bhd. Incorporated in June 2003, Miyazu (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd offers services like the design of dies and jigs, maintenance services of dies, die manufacturing and engineering consultancy for automotive firms. It is a joint venture between Proton, Miyazu Seisakusho Co Ltd and Nissho Iwai Corp – the latter two being Japanese firms.