The deadline for the announcement of Proton’s new partner is coming soon, but talks do not seem to be conclusive for favorites Volkswagen and PSA Peugoet Citroen. Previously, Second Finance Minister Nor Mohamad Yakcop said Proton’s foreign strategic partner would be announced by the end of this month. This bad news adds more grief to the recent announcement of Proton’s 3rd straight quarterly loss.
Business weekly The Edge reported that talks between Proton and Volkswagen have hit a bumpy patch, and Volkswagen seems to be getting less and less keen as time passes by. It’s said that Volkswagen’s recently changed top management never really did agree to the Proton idea as much as the previous management did, so the deal might just be off if whatever problems the discussions are having right now are not sorted out quickly.
As for PSA Peugeot Citroen, it’s CEO Christian Streiff told newspaper Le Figaro that the French automaker has dropped all talks with Proton over a possible alliance. “Concerning alliances, I do not want to extend them to new partners. I would rather continue to get the most of out of the best alliances we have at the moment,” said Streiff, further reinforcing the statement that PSA would have nothing to do with Proton. It already has an alliance with a Malaysian automaker, Naza, which assembles the Peugeot 206 for local consumption as well as right hand drive exports.
(6/3/2007) UPDATE: An official press statement by PSA Peugeot Citroen continued to add that “PSA Peugeot Citroen has decided to discontinue the discussions launched in September 2006 with Proton. The talks focused on a possible co-operative venture to support the development of Peugeot and Citroen in Malaysia and to serve as a production base for the marques’ sales operations in the ASEAN region. An in-depth study of the automobile market and the economic conditions for co-producing vehicles with Proton concluded that the conditions for the project’s success were not present.”
News about Proton-General Motors talks have been almost non-existent, and GM is most probably having it’s hands full with the possible acquisition of Chrysler from DaimlerChrysler. So where does this put Proton?