Proton saw a list of Bursa Malaysia announcements last week pertaining the boardroom and audit committee. Two members have resigned – Non-Executive Director Haji Abdul Kadir Bin Md Kassim and Non-Executive Director Oh Kim Sun. In addition to the resignations, ex-Hyundai India man BVR Subbu has been appointed to the Audit Committee, which now consists of BVR Subbu, Dato’ Michael Lim and Datuk Zalekha Binti Hassan.
Other than our local Malaysian market, Proton will be focusing on exports markets with four main key markets identified – India, China, ASEAN and the Middle East. It already has something running in China in a partnership with the Youngman Group, which rebadges Proton cars under the Europestar Lotus brand. Europestar recently launched a new car in China called the Youngman Lotus L5 with a longer wheelbase compared to the GEN2 and Persona, something not available in Malaysia.
Proton is already in the Middle East and in ASEAN so the remaining ‘key market’ that it has yet to set foot in is India, which would explain the hiring of BVR Subbu and now appointing him as member of the Audit Committee.
According to an email interview with India’s Business Standard publication, a small car based on the Proton EMAS will be adopted for the four key markets including India. The EMAS Concept’s length of 3,550mm makes it suitable for sale in India as it would help it be priced competitively, as the length falls into a tax bracket (vehicle length based) that is low.
The EMAS Concept should be able to be priced well if the vehicle’s actual production costs are low since tax will not be a hindrance, unlike Mahindra and Renault’s attempt at selling the Logan in India which was a disaster due to uncompetitive pricing thanks to the Logan’s length of over 4 meters.