Proton is now back to black again in terms of quarterly profit after six continuous quarterly losses, posting a net profit of RM3.5 million on revenue of RM1.3 billion, compared to a loss of RM250 million on a turnover of RM1.27 billion the same period last year.

However, Proton chairman Datuk Mohamed Azlan Hashim says Proton still needs to work harder as this was just a small profit and only a quarterly figure. As most of you can guess, a major factor contributing to this bounce back is the Proton Persona, with 23,000 bookings so far. Market share rose from 26.5% to 33.1% from the previous quarter.

In other Proton-related news, while there was previously a report quoting an unnamed government sources that Proton would not get a local partner as it would be much like handing it over to another middleman who would have to look for a foreign major player anyway, now it seems that there is still a possibility of a local partner being considered, if it is good for Proton.

At the same time, General Motors has said that it has not ruled out interest in an alliance with Proton. “Never say never. But in the meantime, things have moved on,” said Steve Carlisle, head of GM SEA. On the local front, DRB-HICOM comes out and says it does not mind collaborating with Proton even without having a share in the company.

Could we see Proton working with GM sometime in the future through DRB-HICOM, since DRB-HICOM has a stake-sharing relationship with GM’s Chevrolet unit through Hicom-Chevrolet Sdn Bhd?