Tun M on Proton-Suzuki tie-up: “I will make it happen”

Proton Suzuki MOU_ 001

In case you missed it, on Monday, Proton and Suzuki signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Licence Agremeent that, amongst other things, gives Proton access to Suzuki’s models, platforms, powertrain and automotive technology, with the Japanese carmaker providing technical assistance for the products and scope selected.

As with MoUs, which are not legally binding, the possibilities are endless. The two companies will study and explore all areas where it is possible to work together, so the extent of collaboration and sharing could equally be high, low or ultimately even nothing at all.

But the signed Licence Agreement grants Proton the rights to CKD manufacture and sell a Suzuki model under its own brand, and numerous mentions of “small, compact cars” and smaller engine segment vehicles” at the event fuels speculation that Proton wants to develop its first A-segment city car to challenge Perodua’s hot-selling Axia.

proton-alto (1)

No, we haven’t forgotten the national carmaker’s resultless MoUs with other companies in the past (which include Rover, Volkswagen, Nissan, Detroit Electric and China’s Hawtai), so how do we know this one will bear fruit? “Since I’m now the executive chairman of Proton, I will make it happen,” said former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad with a knowing smile.

Also, we have considerably more details this time round – both Proton and Suzuki have confirmed in their official press releases that the first phase of this agreement will start production at the Tanjung Malim plant in the next 16 months.

Additionally, Suzuki has revealed that it will supply Proton with CKD components for a compact passenger model, and possibly in the future, engines and transmissions for Proton to use in its models. So, fingers crossed for this one, then!

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Jonathan James Tan

While most dream of the future, Jonathan Tan dreams of the past, although he's never been there. Fantasises much too often about cruising down Treacher Road (Jalan Sultan Ismail) in a Triumph Stag that actually works, and hopes this stint here will snap him back to present reality.



  • Don’t bring up the past of a company who is trying to improve their future. All the best for proton.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 70 Thumb down 14
    • Areyousure on Jun 17, 2015 at 8:54 pm

      Since Proton just the property to Syed Mohktar.
      I will not care whether Proton is dead or alive.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 64
      • Beng P1boy on Jun 17, 2015 at 9:32 pm

        Worst are DrM still own Proton shares and he will make it Global…

        Just stop comments P2 macai and just buy buy buy Proton !!!

        He will never let Proton die even BN fails to dust !!!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 16
        • I will make sure conies get to eat

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 12
          • Proton Rogol Rakyat on Jun 18, 2015 at 8:48 am

            It is solely because of Proton that 30 million people in Malaysia suffer. Everybody’s biggest payment per month is their cars as we are paying overpriced cars. Don’t know why Malaysians are excited about low quality Suzuki when 30 years, Proton rogol all of us.

            You see, in the 80s or even in the early 90s, you can get a brand new Nissan 130Y or a Toyota Corolla for RM20,000. Now, the same car is RM139,000.

            In truth, the past 30 years, car prices have come down a lot globally and have NOT gone up due to inflation. It has come down due to economies of scale achieved by car companies. This is proven by the fact that you can get a brand new purely Japan made top spec 10 airbag Toyota Camry 2.5 in the US for US$22,000. That is about RM60,000. The normal B segment car like the Almera is sold in the US for US$9,999. (RM30,000). Mind you, this is after Toyota and Nissan of the US has made their margin and profits and the US government has collected taxes and duties from Nissan and Toyota. The direct from factory prices is far cheaper. UMW will get the above 2.5 Camry for US$15,000 from their principal in Japan. As our Camry is CKD, the price is even lower than that.

            Our cars compared to global cars are completely stripped down. Even basic car in the US got about 20 safety features that the same car in Malaysia does not have. Purposely taken out to cut cost even further and untung more profit.

            So, in actual fact, most Malaysians can enjoy cheap and reasonable cars but because of Proton, all the other car prices have been raised up tremendously to protect Proton. Malaysians have already suffered so much. For 30 years, 30 million people suffer so much. We struggle paying for our high car prices all because of one man’s dream of benefiting his friends and relatives and forcing the dying Proton to live with billions of our LHDN money, money which could be used to build more schools and hospitals.

            If we did not have Proton sucking money from LHDN, each state can have an addition 10 fully fledged government hospitals and 10 fully fledged government schools every 10 years being built. But all our LHDN money go to the failing Proton. Every year government gives hundreds of million to Proton as form of grants. Every other year, Proton ask RM billions in help. Recently, even under private hands also (DRB) Proton asked the government to give them free few RM billions from LHDN.

            Proton also cost us hundreds of billions in ringgit in investments from car companies who moved to Thailand and Indonesia. Car companies got fed up with Malaysia’s MITI for protecting Proton and telling other companies what to price their cars. They got sick and tired of the AP system and how genuine brands cannot get enough APs to import their cars in (like Mercedes, BMW and Honda).

            They thought that if they set up their brands and plants in Malaysia, they knew they had to give 30% of their hard earned company free away as well as being told by MITI what to price their cars. They all moved their operations to Thailand making it the AutoCity of the world.

            Recently GM announced that they rolled out already 1 million cars from Thailand. Imagine if GM was in Malaysia and we taxed GM RM10,000 per car. Calculate that with 1 million cars. Just from GM alone, we lost Billions in USD. Imagine what will the amount be from other car companies if they had set up in Malaysia?

            Because of Proton, we lost hundreds of billion of ringgit in investment and trillions of ringgit from jobs lost. If Malaysia was the autocity of Asia, hundreds of thousands of jobs would have been created for Malaysians. We lost all that. Trillions of Ringgit and hundreds of thousands of jobs. Now, Thailand is benefiting from this trillions lost.

            Car companies are flocking to invest hundreds of billions in Thailand despite Thailand being an unstable government, unstable economy and full of bomb blastings and terror.

            Yet, global car companies still prefer Thailand. You still happy with Suzuki? This is another rape like when Mitsubishi raped us for 20 years with low quality engines and parts. If Proton was not in Malaysia in the first place, you will have a few hundred thousand ringgit extra in your pocket!

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 41
          • Pakai Porsche? on Jun 18, 2015 at 10:18 am

            If car is his passion, he should support Proton and tell his whole family to buy Proton. He himself drives most of the time in his Porsche Cayenne. Only to events he will drive an Iriz to show people he is supportive of his product. 90% of the time he uses Cayenne.

            All his children use Porsche. Practically his whole family uses Porsche.

            If you support Proton, you should make sure everyone including your wife use Proton.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 3
        • Proton Super Low Quaity Parts on Jun 18, 2015 at 8:56 am

          You see Proton is actually a good concept. But when Mahathir created Proton, he made sure every single part of the Proton car is supplied by his crony buddies. Now Suzuki will be the same.

          And these crony buddies overcharge Proton by ten times whilst giving poor and inferior parts. That is why your Proton always falls apart and everybody blames quality control. That is the reason also why Proton makes only RM500 per car that they sell. It is solely because of the crony vendors who are overcharging Proton. For example, per car Mat is sold to Proton for RM100 whilst you can buy the same car mat from brothers for RM10.

          So, Mahathir can say all he wants about quality being raised with Suzuki but until ALL Proton’s vendors are changed, how can the quality go up?

          Mahathir won’t do this. All his buddies have got the contract to be vendors to Proton. Mahathir will just ensure that all the vendors for Proton remain the same. All his buddies and relatives, so why upset his relatives when he can continue his past misgivings?

          Proton will still get the same low inferior quality parts it has been getting for the past 30 years and it will still be overcharged by 10 times for each part the vendors supply.

          Malaysians have already suffered so much. For 30 years, 30 million people suffer so much. We struggle paying for our high car prices all because of one man’s dream of benefitting his buddies and friends. Until Proton changes ALL their vendors, Proton will be a loss making organisation because it produces super low quality cars due to its vendors supplying Proton Super low Quality parts.

          This Suzuki scandal will be the same as Mitsubishi scandal. Until vendors change, this Suzuki will be low in quality as previous Protons.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 7
          • Let us Subsidise Rich Arabs on Jun 18, 2015 at 9:16 am

            Malaysians kena tipu big time. Every single model in the Proton line is sold for half the price in Saudi countries.

            We Malaysians are subsidising rich Arabs. When we pay RM60,000 for a Waja for example, the super rich Arab pays RM30,000 for the same car but with higher spec, more airbags and more safety features.

            Why is a Malaysian Made car, Made for the people of Malaysia, being sold so high in Malaysia?

            The whole purpose Mahathir gave birth to Proton in 1985 was to give an affordable car to fellow Malaysians. Proton cannot hide by the fact that taxes are high.

            The spirit Proton was created was to help Malaysians. That is the whole reason of its inception. But it is not helping Malaysians. Because of Proton, all other car brands have artificially been going higher for the past 30 years. They have been strictly told to do so.

            And parallel, the Proton car price also have been going higher as well to follow suit the other brands who have been strictly directed to sell at a high price.

            So, what is the purpose of Proton’s inception in 1985? It is not helping the rakyat at all because, as we know, globally, car prices are so low and cheap.

            It is high time we question, whether Proton needs to close down or not. Proton defeats its purpose of birth. In 1985, Mahathir promised everyone that the car would be cheap and affordable to everyone.

            Well, the car is cheap in Saudi, at 50% the price. Why can’t we benefit from this price?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2
      • So, equally i guess you don’t care if Air Asia is dead or alive, Maxis is dead or alive, Naza is dead or alive, Malakoff is dead or alive, YTL is dead or alive…sigh

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3
        • Open Letter to Tun on Jun 18, 2015 at 9:03 am

          See below and you will know why Suzuki cannot marry Proton…

          Suzuki workers :

          “We must work hard. We must focus in our work. We take pride in our products and must deliver excellent quality. Only then, we can enjoy our remuneration for the hard work done. We must aim to be more hardworking than our other Japanese car plants”

          Proton Malaysia workers:

          “Rilak lah bang, buat apa nak keje ni. rilak lah, nanti boleh buat. Letih lah ni, mari meh tido sekejap kat bilik stor, boss takde ni. Eh tengok awek kilang cun tu, bess lah dapat kongkek dia. Syok. Jom lah, mari pegi kantin minum teh dan makan kuih lapis. Tak payah keje kuat ni, kerajaan nanti tolong. Buat apa keje kuat ni?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 14
        • Vincent Ang on Jun 21, 2015 at 10:47 am

          All corporations exist to make money. I care not who hires me so long as I get the job I want. However, GLCs spit on me because of my skin color in the name of ‘Ketuanan Melayu/Islam’. This is why the nons hate Proton. Understand?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
          • anakbochek on Jul 22, 2015 at 2:30 pm

            And what about Malaysian companies who purposely advertise “Must be able to speak Mandarin”. What is our national language, Mandarin or Bahasa Melayu.

            That’s a subtle way to employ a yellow skin guy under the name of ketuanan Mandarin right?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • sammy on Jun 17, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    Despite our love hate relationship with Tun, I got to take my hat off for this 90 year old man. At his age, just where does he get all the energy for all this…
    You certainly can’t accuse him of sleeping..

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 108 Thumb down 6
    • gorila on Jun 17, 2015 at 10:03 pm

      Car, its his passion. He is the fathers of Proton, no matter how old proton is or how people hate it, he still care and protect it.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 4
      • munkay on Jun 17, 2015 at 11:17 pm

        Man this guys has a Porsche in his garage, forget about sleep, he can’t wait to wake up every morning to drive his Porsche around town.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 19
        • trollmaster3000 on Jun 18, 2015 at 3:51 am

          he loved proton so much.. he had his cayenne rebadged.. so now it is technically a proton.. proton cayenne that is..

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
        • seeto on Jun 18, 2015 at 5:58 am

          There are much more things to do than driving. Get a life!

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5
    • BrainChild on Jun 18, 2015 at 8:43 am

      Seems that the only hope solely depend on this old guy sajalah.
      All their top management are useless,ceo langsung takleh pakai..i wonder what will happen if Tun is no more around.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
      • from the look of all things in msia, all depend on this old M….govt going under wt 1mdb issues…proton need soneone to lead…all still depend on this 90 year old man, hat off to dr M…looks like the country still need u!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • wiwiwiwiwiwiw on Jun 17, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    It is pathetic that our cars are so overpriced and controlled by cronies, CKD manufacturing plants, and AP holders
    DRB Proton, Lotus, Suzuki, Honda, Jeep, Volkswagen, Audi, Isuzu
    UMW Perodua, Toyota, Lexus
    NAzA Kia, Peugeot, Citroen, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Maserati, Koenigsegg
    Sime Darby Hyundai, Ford, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Porsche
    Tan Chong Nissan, Renault, Subaru, Infiniti
    You’ll get the idea…
    It is my choice not to support them and sacrifice a new car smell for a used CBU German car with a reliable independent workshop.
    I mean you can buy a used E65 7-Series and W220 S-Class for the price of a brand new Iriz or Myvi.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 41 Thumb down 15
    • kzm (Member) on Jun 17, 2015 at 9:58 pm

      try buy those brand in other ASEAN country excluding brunei…i want to see whether u can get at price of iriz n myvi.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 13
      • Otak Kosong on Jun 18, 2015 at 10:20 am

        So stupid. Asean eat shit, we eat shit also ah? Thai semua restoran ada khinzir, jadi Malaysia semua tempat bleh jual khinzir

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6
        • Vincent Ang on Jun 21, 2015 at 10:53 am

          How does a comparison of automotive policies become shit and impinge upon your no babi rule? Really otak kosong from BTN khinzir.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • That’s y all support Toyota n P2 thought their money not pay for G cronies

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2
  • Jobless car salesman on Jun 17, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    If me the boss me will start by sacking the entire managment tim for coming up wit such a ridiculous lousy strategy: ignoring yur greatest strength (Persona and Saga) and wasting hundreds of millions to try to compete with models such as Supima ( priced so near to popular jap models) and than choosing to fight Mivi wit the ugly Iruz and now tis…and marketing tried to sell by boasting about safety, just look at Volvo

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 18
  • Japang on Jun 17, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    First Mitsubishi, then Honda, Suzuki. Later Isuzu and Subaru. When can purotong close shop and let us buy our imported dream car with reasonable price?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 26
    • niggas on Jun 17, 2015 at 10:47 pm

      Japs cars suck to the max

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 19
      • niggasucks on Jun 17, 2015 at 11:23 pm

        You suck to the max lah. Proton also rebadge Japs car

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3
        • niggas on Jun 18, 2015 at 6:00 am

          Contis also rebadge Jepunis, they suck too.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5
          • Saitama on Jun 18, 2015 at 1:33 pm

            Err nigga dumbo, it’s the japs who try to rebadge or reengineer contis. Case in point, Lexus, Infiniti and Acura.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
    • munkay on Jun 17, 2015 at 11:19 pm

      The only reason why Proton is in existence today is because of him. So logically when he can’t care for Proton anymore it will ‘close shop’ as you put it. Probably another decade or so, just wait till then!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8
    • Most likely on Jun 18, 2015 at 9:29 am

      Most likely not mazda, スバル/ イスズ since トヨタ cant have P1 bring down their ダイハツ baby P2… after スズキ there’s no other 日本 brands for P1 to partner with so do die P1 is in their final straw. VW AG sentiments can already be seen with the failed talks, so executive market tie ups is out, only left is budget market JV’s with இந்திய or 华人 brands which means P1 is forced to compete with P2 on home turf, until it’s completely eaten up by other autohouses. If P1 have any senses left and could swallow their pride, they would move to commercial and recreational vehicles. These are cash-cows and could sustain the business until actual good engineering of their passanger fleet could be revered.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2
  • abdullah on Jun 17, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    You think the Japanese are stupid. Why should they help
    you to compete with them
    All your MoU with other carmakers are fruitless because
    Proton is only a village champion with near zero international sales while other carmakers have sales all over the world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 17
  • DPCraft on Jun 17, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    I hope Proton will put down the price barrier in future and compete like a boss, so we don’t have to suffer high car tax.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2
  • DPCraft on Jun 17, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    When 2 companies work to gather, Suzuki will learn car designs from Proton, Proton will learn everything from Suzuki

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5
  • DPCraft on Jun 17, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    Perodua says no compete between both companies, but proton still still gonna fight with Axia…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1
  • Suzuki also going down now. Whats the point to have mou with them?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4
    • Saitama on Jun 18, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      True Suzuki would probably be the first Japanese car company to die in this decade or next. This would be followed by Mitsubishi, another dying cat company that doesn’t even have enough resources to build their next Lancer!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
      • Saitam on Jun 18, 2015 at 3:20 pm

        On what basis you say Suzuki won survive?
        Please do some research on Suzuki and you will know despite competitions, their share price still outperform the market benchmark and they are making good sustainable profit.
        They have very strong hold in India, one of the largest market.
        Just because they didn’t make headlines in terms of technology and new model, doesn’t mean they are irrelevant. Not everyone can afford the next big thing.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2
        • Franscsca on Jun 18, 2015 at 11:06 pm

          Hello Kawan, Suzuki is dying man, just because they are selling well in India, doesn’t mean Suzuki is doing well, Chrysler shares were at all time high, when they announced the company is in dire straits and had to either merge or be bought over to survive.

          Suzuki has big problems, that’s why they produced the Kizashi to expand their revenue, but because they couldn’t design a proper D segment chassis, they are losing out due the high cost invested.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
          • Saitam on Jun 19, 2015 at 10:33 am

            Err.. I assume you are a financial analyst? lets exchange notes.
            ALL market research that I come through show the company is in great health…
            An analysis of their 2014 Balance sheet to calculate the Z score showed an “8”.
            Do you know what an “8” means? Anything above 3 is consider unlikely to face financial distress. And they have very good debt-to-revenue ratio.


            They owned more then 50% of Maruti india, which is in a greater shape, posting record profit recently.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • old dog on Jun 17, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    will Protong still take money from Gov? If not, I support Tun!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7
  • sudonano (Member) on Jun 17, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Indeed you can see the determination in this, oh the heat is on for Perodua if they really can pull this off.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3
  • Bugger Off on Jun 18, 2015 at 8:00 am

    Proton is a vehicle to feed the cronies. With such high priced, low quality components, they couldn’t produce anything to compete with the global brands.
    Do tell me how they could spend RM hundreds of millions on R&D to come up with a rebadged Lancer?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2
  • Proton kan boleh design and built car on their ownnnn..
    some notable design are wira dashboard and lancer dashboard.

    why need help from a small brand?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
    • Toyota pun ambik BMW (banyak masuk worksyop) punya enjin.
      Why need help from unreliable brand?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3
      • Mesti je nak sebut BMW bila cakap pasal proton.

        We are talking a company that bragging about their ability to built car on their own and look down on rebadging car.

        BTW, BMW engines are one of the best and won multiple awards.

        Jangan nak tunjuk pandai dengan pengetahuan yang tak seberapa. Just like your company, baru berjinak with airbags and VSC, hari-hari cakap.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • dodgeviper88 on Jun 18, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Introducing Proton Alto! With more ‘aerodynamic’ (garang) bumper and reengineered gearbox (less inferior as crony supplier can’t produce high quality ones) for the local market.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • Samlok on Jun 18, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Will Suzuki die off? Don’t think so

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • Eh vampire. U have not suck us dry enough. Bring proton together with u to ur coffin.. and get buried 20 feet down, so tat u won’t b able to crawl out again

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Keropok Lekor KL on Jun 18, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    proton tak boleh pakai…..last time, now and future….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Key of success, Proton must have open door policy, to compete in open market by providing High Quality, Excellent Service and Competitive in Cost.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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