Political feud may add to struggling Proton’s woes

Mahathir-Najib

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed’s ongoing feud with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak may inadvertently affect national carmaker Proton’s bid to secure an urgent and much needed RM1.5 billion grant from the government, The Straits Times of Singapore reports.

Proton, apparently struggling with losses of more than RM2.5 billion in the past four years, has reportedly requested the injection of funds from the federal administration. The grant may not come through as a result of the political spat though, with the automaker being seen very much as Tun Mahathir’s pet project.

Tun Mahathir believes that the automaker has a future and a government grant to fund research and development for a new engine will make the firm viable again, but many, including government officials, are not convinced.

“Even if Proton receives a grant, it won’t solve the company’s troubles,” a financial consultant familiar with Proton and the federal administration told the publication.

Press Conference with YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Dato' Abdul Harith Abdullah

Employees – who are staring at job losses – and parts suppliers, who are struggling as a result of the carmaker’s woes, fear that they may become scapegoats in the ongoing political bickering, the report adds.

“They (employees) and vendors are being asked to choose between Tun Mahathir and the government,” an unnamed senior Proton executive told ST.

Proton has 10,000 employees and the network of vendors and suppliers adds another 30,000 or so people into the equation. While there is widespread respect for Tun Mahathir, “there is a growing sense that he is now a liability,” the executive added.

In a sign that it was tiring of things and was pushing back, the government removed Tun Mahathir from the post of advisor to Petronas two weeks ago. The administration cannot sack Tun Mahathir from Proton, since it is owned by DRB-Hicom.

proton-mahathir

However, with the automaker in dire need of government support and DRB-Hicom also relying heavily on government-awarded business, having Tun Mahathir around may prove to be more of a burden than a benefit.

The automaker has yet to file its latest financial results, but analysts tracking the auto sector say Proton is losing close to RM25 million each month because of interest charges on loans and the financial load on its growing stockpile of unsold cars.

Estimates have it that it has about 30,000 units of unsold cars, or roughly three months’ worth of inventory, based on last year’s sales of 102,175 units.

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Anthony Lim

Anthony Lim believes that nothing is better than a good smoke and a car with character, with good handling aspects being top of the prize heap. Having spent more than a decade and a half with an English tabloid daily never being able to grasp the meaning of brevity or being succinct, he wags his tail furiously at the idea of waffling - in greater detail - about cars and all their intrinsic peculiarities here.

 

Comments

  • abdullah on Mar 28, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Nobody will want to joint venture with you.
    Like an old maid going around, will you marry me, will you marry me.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 58 Thumb down 7
    • ProtonGSC on Mar 28, 2016 at 9:54 pm

      The car price is high compare to the costing BUT Proton insist on make “little profit”… Why don’t Proton ask the Rich AP system owners to cover the loses??? Instead asking billions of R&D from tax payer money??? Proton any more excuses???

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 64 Thumb down 3
      • WT Fuchhh on Mar 29, 2016 at 12:45 am

        DRB, shame on you, Why buy P1, if you dont know how to turn the company around. You knew P1 was losing company during takeover. So how come now you are totally dependent on Gov subsidy??? You must have done it in order to spend rakyats money. Shameless……

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 51 Thumb down 3
        • Muniandy Periasamy on Mar 29, 2016 at 9:55 am

          How can a PRIVATE company like DRB ask RM1.5 billion of our money? Each and every director of DRB should be sacked. Tak malu ke?

          So all the fanboys would come here and say Proton in PRIVATE hands now apa jadi?? All quiet like mouse.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 45 Thumb down 2
          • Azmin on Mar 29, 2016 at 10:28 am

            We all know where money would go? To cronies and tun M account to undermine government and for DRB to spend on their office renovation and wasting it again. Or pay the Lebanese fiber shop Bufori. Yes we know all

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 3
          • Sometimes i question why i support Proton.
            Am i an idiot like the rest of Proton fanboys?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1
          • Same L0rrrr on Mar 30, 2016 at 3:08 pm

            You buy Proton, you burn your money supporting them directly.
            You don’t buy Proton, government burn your tax money supporting them indirectly.
            Anyway you are subsidizing Proton.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
      • Muniandy Periasamy on Mar 29, 2016 at 9:20 am

        Better for Proton to just close shop as that day is coming soon. Better for the rakyat and better for the Government as the Government has been pumping too much of money to Proton despite being in Private Hands few years now.

        People are scared to buy a car no matter how cheap from a company that may go bust. You see, all this while, because of Mahathir, sales have been good. As we all know, 90% of Proton sales actually go to the Government.

        Last year Proton sold 100,000 cars. In reality, only about 10% we bought by the public. The bulk of the purchase was bought by various government departments and ministries, enforcement divisions (customs, immigresen, pdrm, UTK etc) and other organisations such as Bomba, TUDM, TLDM, KDRM, Tabung Haji, Risda etc etc

        Now, Mahathir got problem with the Government. In retaliation and in spite, they even sacked him from Petronas.

        It is a matter of time before he is sacked from Proton too by the Government. Even if they don’t sack him, they will make sure they will cut down on Government orders just to get back at him. Payback time. They know Proton is his cherished baby. It is the best way to kena him.

        How to survive for Proton? Proton, with Mahathir’s help can only sell 100,000 cars. Now, with orders possibly cut, there will be a big problem. How to feed the 30,000 Proton staff??

        Proton has one of the largest staffing of any car manufacturer in the world.

        The rakyat also will be saying “I dare not buy anything from a company that is hanging on a thread. No money means compromise in quality and safety ie definitely use 2nd grade parts”

        Now Malaysians also scared. Warranty might be 5 years but the company might not even be there to even honour that warranty”

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 74 Thumb down 6
        • Albert on Mar 29, 2016 at 9:35 am

          Protong is technically bankrupt.
          It is a matter of time the banks show no mercy and move in.
          Hello,Nilai Memorial Park…you got another casualty.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 2
          • Ha …. true true.
            Their factories compound in Shah Alam and Tanjung Malim can make more money as a memorial park than car factory.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1
        • Over Bloated Staff on Mar 29, 2016 at 10:21 am

          The CEO must first trim his company. Proton’s workforce is way too much.

          This is like MAS or even our own Government. Give people jobs for free and fun. Don’t care about business economics. Just give free jobs.

          MAS went into bankruptcy cause 100 people do 1 person’s job. but now, the new white man is doing a good job trimming the bloated staff, most of whom goyang kaki.

          I hope Proton don’t follow our government style. Our Government the champion in the world. Malaysia has the highest number of Civil Servants in the world 1.5 million Government Servants.

          Like MAS, 100 people do 1 person’s job. So, everybody can relax most of the time. Most Government servants, just goyang kaki.
          Do you know, Australia employs only 250,000 Government Servants and we employ 1.5 million Government Servants?

          The same with Proton, it probably only needs 10,000 staff. I hope the new CEO trims the 30,000 staff to 10,000. Keep the company trim. No need to give free jobs just because of fun.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 44 Thumb down 5
          • Just pick random numbers in your head, then goreng, and everybody believe you. Malaysian oh Malaysian.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 15
          • armandd on Mar 29, 2016 at 10:57 pm

            You must be drunk. How can 1 person doing 100 persons’ job?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9
          • adriano on Mar 31, 2016 at 7:22 pm

            do some googling before saying others cincai pick a number and goreng
            https://rightways.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/public-servants-legally-vulnerable-but-notoriously-difficult-against-the-delinguents/

            http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/comment/2015/03/17/no-bonuses-for-the-civil-service-please/

            http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/4991036-3×2-940×627.jpg

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
      • Albert on Mar 29, 2016 at 9:30 am

        Proton GSC,
        Proton has exceeded my predictions.They have already kaput rm 2.5 Billion ,without announcing the latest loss ,come 31/3/2016(roughly rm 500juta).
        Tun is giving ceramah belakang lori now.He got no time for Proton.
        It has stage 4 cancer…….only few months to live.
        If the banks ignore the mamak at MMC,you can find attachments( DI SITA) AT THEIR FACTORIES AND OFFICES soon.Protong is buying time cos Tun is around,but how long can banks wait?
        Shambolic DRB asking for 1.5 Billion Grant,mostly collected from GST.
        DRB,tak tahu memalukan piece of SHIT.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 3
        • Muniandy Periasamy on Mar 29, 2016 at 10:17 am

          Albert, Malaysians have been suffering 30 years for Proton.

          1) for 30 years all car prices jacked up 4 fold. In 90s, brand new Corolla was RM20k. Now, brand new Corolla is RM139k

          2) We are stuck with 9 year high interest loans. All the banks are owned by the Government indirectly. Have you wondered why Proton cars got higher interest rates compared to other car brands?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 5
          • Close Down Proton Please on Mar 29, 2016 at 10:24 am

            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 dying Proton to live. Proton sucks 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.

            Which is better? 300,000 jobs created by car companies setting up plants in Malaysia or to sustain the existing 30,000 Proton employees that have been living off us the past 30 years?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 52 Thumb down 6
          • 300,000 monkey wrench jobs?
            VS
            30,000 engineering jobs?

            I choose the engineering one.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 9
          • Azlan & Co. on Mar 29, 2016 at 11:07 pm

            You mean 30,000 tiga suku engineers?
            Monkey wrench jobs seem better

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
    • Usaha on Mar 29, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Just assemble American cars; GM, Ford, Chrysler & Tesla.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
    • I guess Proton is like British Leyland.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • Ootai on Mar 28, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    Malaysian auto industry currently faces small growth. Ploton only has low market share. Ask any analyst, they shall suggest to give them to the …s. Giving ploton rm1.5bil is throwing good money after bad money. Solution: No brainer answer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 2
  • Jumbo on Mar 28, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    Pls close shop proton,…msia without proton & govt protection for proton will finally bring back much needed investment from foreign car companies. Will easily double the job in motor industry in msia.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 54 Thumb down 6
  • BeemerFreak on Mar 28, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    Then it is time to show the rakyat that proton can do it without the government…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 4
  • Henry on Mar 28, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    Proton is our country’s bottomless hole. No amount of funding is ever enough.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 5
  • Gargantia on Mar 28, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    30 years of monopoly even heavy Malaysia tax duty can’t protect Proton from losing billions… Now Proton continue loses and still asking billions of R&D, How many more billions of R&D from Government fund(tax payers money) need to be loses again??

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 44 Thumb down 5
  • power rangers on Mar 28, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    close it down, and more manufacturers will come provide jobs, the cronies suppliers will die. Not those workers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 46 Thumb down 3
  • Anti-Fuel-Price on Mar 28, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    For the sake of Malaysian, please either: shut down or sell majority stake to other potential automaker. Dignity of a lone man is a disaster to Malaysian since Government keep injecting money…..money…… and the worst part is: Proton never earn back instead kept loosing. We do have much respect to TUN and we love supporting national product but time has proven again and again, few C.E.O been fail reviving Proton, I guess it is time we let go. Our economy is bad enough and Governemnt been cutting lots of subsidies so is clearly shows Government is tighting its belt too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 2
  • angah on Mar 28, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    Customer buy products that have quality and value for money. Political aside, if your product is good and correctly priced , there should be no problem to sell.

    Don’t yada yada yada with lots of excuses…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 41 Thumb down 1
    • Sammy Zaik Loo on Mar 28, 2016 at 11:39 pm

      Agree with you, that explains why Perodua can sell their cars well although we have to pressure them to bump up it’s safety spec. That is because of good track record of reliability (although their cars are not totally perfect), good after sales service as well as acceptable running cost.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1
  • inspira owner on Mar 28, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    Where is perdana?? First quarter is about to end? Again .again..again… self destruction..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 5
    • Talkinly on Mar 29, 2016 at 8:44 am

      Are you buying? If not why complaint?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 14
      • inspira owner on Mar 29, 2016 at 4:06 pm

        Dude.. i used to have gen2 , neo n last .. inspira.. have no choice that time.. now already got accord ..9th gen. Bcos its proton… thats why we as malaysian cares..

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  • Potong Car on Mar 28, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    Proton…your death if finally coming. With the present government wanting you to close shop due to Najis’s directive…proton you can dig your own grave and bury yourself in! Malaysians have enough of your crap and will not buy your useless car anymore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 2
    • Sammy Zaik Loo on Mar 28, 2016 at 11:49 pm

      Even Perodua cars with mediocre shifting quality of manual gearbox (generally) are 100 times better than Protaik cars with strong startled Punchtaik CVT gearbox (like it will break down anytime).

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4
  • Dono todu on Mar 28, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    Once,proton was exaggerated as ‘to keep malaysian money from leaking abroad’ . Nowadays? A burden to govt’s financial ( tax payers)in this turbulent times, when tun dr mahathir realise? Or somebody will show him exit door. Stop pressuring najib, just be a solution to this mess dr mahathir…:'(

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1
  • Anti P1 = Support Najib

    Najib is more concerned about giving more public transport than creating endless jams.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 5
  • Tamau itu macam on Mar 28, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    haiya…..simple solution.

    Just close down Proton. Problem solved.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 3
  • sepul on Mar 28, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    Closing Proton is a huge losses to the many employees without proper liquidation and reimbursement. I say sell the company to Japanese or let foreign people manage them. Because we cannot have politicians bottleneck the company like this. It is painful to us all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 37 Thumb down 4
  • hasif on Mar 29, 2016 at 12:39 am

    Drb-Hicom have to revive a company that is in a tough position. Without proton, i guess we cant develop ourself much especially in R&D. End up getting the imported fishes from japan n europe, but losing our own fishing rod.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 15
  • J.V ia a better option for Proton on Mar 29, 2016 at 12:42 am

    I still remember when Tun was a PM tat time, he did try to JV Proton with Volkswagen but the Major shareholder tat time was Khazanah Nasional obviously a government link company did not allow the JV. Them Khazanah themselves sold the shares to DRM. What a sad story. Now every1 and people who don’t know the whole story will definitely blame Tun for no reason. – Proton keep your design and don’t produce Engine, buy engine from other reliable Car company like last time you did with Mitsubishi… :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 5
    • Andas on Mar 29, 2016 at 8:09 am

      That time P1 offered JV but VW wanna 51% share in P1.. thats why KN rejected the JV..

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1
    • If P1 had JV with VW, they wud be implicated in dieselgate scandal by MY pipu. Whether got relevance or not is immaterial.

      Somemore Suzuki must have known something is fishy with their own deals with VW, thats why they broke of their engagement with a costly pre-nup price to pay.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4
  • hasif on Mar 29, 2016 at 12:42 am

    Drb-Hicom have to revive a company that is already in a tough position. Without proton, i guess we wont develop much especially in R&D. Ended up getting imported fish from japan n europe, but losing own own fishing rod.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 14
  • oh mak lu cina on Mar 29, 2016 at 12:53 am

    As said it belongs to DRB-HICOM. DRB-HICOM you decided to buy proton, use your own money to save your own company now. You are already Malaysia, Inc. Monopoly everything still cannot make money ah? How else you want to make money then? It does not belong to the government anymore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2
  • Ariff on Mar 29, 2016 at 1:23 am

    Most car makers are already looking at new technologies like fuel cell, electric and hybrid engine. Now Google even has autonomous driving cars. Despite having all those years of experience including purchasing Lotus and government protection Proton still lags way behind other car makers. Money for R&D is a little too late now. Especially if it’s another government handout. That money should come from within the company. So, Politics has *already* killed Proton a long time ago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
  • stupidoldman on Mar 29, 2016 at 1:44 am

    After 22 years rompak hundred billions.. cheating people selling Proton low quality at higher prices, now he want some more billions freely..?? what da hell he is talking about.. nyanyok man talking. many people pay attention arr?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 4
  • MahathirLupa on Mar 29, 2016 at 1:46 am

    After 22 years rompak hundred billions.. cheating people selling Proton low quality at higher prices, now he want some more billions freely..?? what da hell he is talking about.. nyanyok man talking. many people pay attention arr?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3
  • shawal ali on Mar 29, 2016 at 5:09 am

    Why tun wont ask his wealthy friends for help..?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1
  • Syed Zainal on Mar 29, 2016 at 8:39 am

    I miss DSZ very much whom once regain our heart for proton

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4
  • LOK CHYI YEU on Mar 29, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Malaysia market too small for a automaker to survive solely by local support. Proton have zero success in the export market, so I guess the wise choices is to close Proton.

    After this try to get overseas brand to invest and buy over the plants of proton and start over again

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2
  • Middle Age Driver (Member) on Mar 29, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Ai yo…..do a fire sale lor. 60% price reduction for all range of cars. I’m sure the surplus inventory will be depleted fast. Better than write off 100% for each car as it sits in the yard rotting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2
  • Susukotak on Mar 29, 2016 at 9:38 am

    any 1 have good proposal for me to take over proton?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
  • 4G63T DSM on Mar 29, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Yes, It will be a sad day when proton closes down. Even more so if this is due to political bickering.

    However, we, Joe Rakyat have very little sympathy for Proton. Most if not all of us which bought one from 1993 (with the Wira launch) onwards have been burnt in one way or another. 20 years of animosity towards it will not be easily forgotten.

    Proton has dug themselves a big hole that they can’t get out of. ..and probably never will. Why? Simply because a sheltered company will never learn to walk on its own two feet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2
    • The day Proton closed down, even old uncles will put on their white boot-cut pants and do their disco moves.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
    • karam singh on Mar 29, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      Oh no… Proton will join the list of bankrupted car manufacturers like DeLorean, Rover and Saab.

      Will someone care to rescue Proton like what has happened to Skoda, seat, Alfa Romeo, NISSAN, Daewoo … And last but not least – Lotus!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
  • There is no need for such struggle.
    Proton was given ample time to prove its worth, and fail…

    And despite low ringgit against other exchange rates, we can’t rely on it for export.

    Just tutup kedai, and stop pumping another cent of rakyat’s money into it.

    We just stopped hiring that 1.5mil bangla, so I think the 10k employee shouldnt have a problem in finding job.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1
  • Anonymous on Mar 29, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Picking a politician to head P1 biz has always been a double edge sword… it cuts both ways… only a matter of time for all to see… and the time is now.

    When DRB bought P1… the main hurdle has always been marketing… especially to the export market which P1 hasn’t done effectively. Seriously… DRB with experience in selling importer marks have never been exceptionally great at it.. they take over P1 with lackluster track record. So much talk from P1 mgmt that its product is world class quality yet it failed to capture the world market… or even a small portion of it. Big talk of exporting but still clamouring for the local market which mostly have bad experiences attached with the brand. What they thought they could get with TunM at the helm has been wishful thinking. TunM for whatever great a statesman he was, it is no longer his time to shine.

    With all the resources at DRB… they still need handouts from the Govt… grants for research n development or in other words a bailout… one which they will deny vehemently. P1 needs to refocus… cut the deadwood… forget bean counters in the mgmt and pick visionaries n engineers really passionate about the automotive industry.

    Worse come to worst… sell off majority stake of P1… and get real partners with industry know how. Owning 25% of a selling n profitable brand is always better than 100% of a failing one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
    • 4G63T DSM on Mar 29, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      Here comes the other double edged sword.

      BUMI privileges and “special position”

      It can help or destroy Proton. Depending on how it is used. Use it well, and Proton can prosper. Use it to benefit cronies on the gravy train…and this, unfortunately is what you see.

      They will never let a foreign partner take a controlling interest in the company. This is suicidal in terms of demolishing their “BUMI” interests. No partner will take proton and invest with their hands tied behind this.

      They can’t open their supply chain to local non-bumi companies. What more do you expect off foreign investors?

      The can come up with new models but until and unless the change is deep and painful. Proton won’t survive.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3
  • Ongtk on Mar 29, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Win-win situation for DRB-Hicom actually. Make money selling Hondas; take rakyat’s money for losses at Proton. Why wouldn’t they want to take over Proton in the first place?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Vincent on Mar 29, 2016 at 10:07 am

    If we put aside all those politic reason and just focus on business, the only way to stop blooding (losing money) is,

    1) Back to Basic
    Stop all R&D, just rebadge old model of other car maker, sell it cheap, focus on lower range market. After all, when Proton was created, the intention is to help Malaysian to own a car!

    2) Gain Economic of scale
    Proton plant is still one of the biggest and flexible car assembly line in Asian. They should start contract manufacturing, assembly for other brand. Get more unit roll out from production to cover their overhead.

    3) Remove Dr Tun M from Proton
    Basically, he is the one make Proton weak. His policy, always ask for Government help, tongkat in the name of national car.. bumi-share whatever you like to name it, is the drug that make Proton weak! Whenever Proton face problem, they can only think of one solution, ask government to put in money, instead of seriously look for solution!

    Facts that Malaysian, Proton must know.
    1) In Automotive industries, Japanese is good in reliability and Germany is good in technology. Even US brand also making loss! After 30 years, the speed that we move, is getting far and far from Japanese and Germany.
    2) We only have 28 million population, the balance is foreigner, who will never buy car. Market for Malaysia is too small to have own brand, product for our own nation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1
    • a national car project is not just to fulfill the internal market consumption, it was meant to be a catalyst for the development of our nation into high income earner through expanding the export market.

      Take Finland for example, the nation only has 5 mil population, but it once had the biggest mobile maker in the world.

      If you just want to play the rebadge and manufacturing game, we are no longer able to compete at a cost level. We have to add value in the whole car manufacturing process, whether in terms of designs and patents and R&D.

      And why can’t you use the word “bleeding”?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  • Deadpool on Mar 29, 2016 at 11:57 am

    feud to struggling proton’s woe? hahahahahaha… this topic i will set as ‘najib vs mahathir, time to close down proton!’ or ‘first time political feud doing good things to rakyat, close down useless proton’, ‘close down proton to save rakyat’s money!’

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  • chekarooz on Mar 29, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Just close P1 and let Korean and Japanese continue take away our money and they keep richer and richer. Its been their self policy only to buy local cars and products while sucking money from other countries thru their export. Those who been to this countries knows what I mean and they don’t give a shit about us.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8
  • kereta_lembu on Mar 29, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    I think even the blind knows that Proton is a failure. People are ‘forced’ to buy a Proton because measures were taken to make Proton look affordable. Despite having that unfair advantage, Proton failed to grow much after 30 years. Probably it took for granted that people had no choice but to buy from them, so they didn’t have to produce proper cars with proper safety & quality. Of course there will be a few Proton fan boys but they are not enough to keep Proton going. No doubt Proton has improved a little over the years BUT it is still light years away from their competition. Proton was supposed to be the pride of our nation, but now it is being kept alive because of pride some people and not to the best interest of the nation. To be patriotic is not only about supporting local products. To be patriotic is also about serving the people well, in this case, Proton is taking the people for a ride.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
  • so what happens if proton closes shop? on Mar 29, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    From the comments here it seems that 99% of you guys wants proton to close shop?

    but what do you expect to gain from this? Cheaper cars? Do you really believe that after proton close then cars will be cheap the next day? dream on. The govt collects RM9bil yearly on excise duties, so of course they are gonna continue collecting that. its free money. Also you guys have to look in the bigger picture of the asean car market. Us 3rd world countries have among the most expensive cars in the world. Dont believe me? just dig up some paultan.com articles on new car launches in thailand and indonesia, heck they are not really cheap.

    And some of you said that we can get foreign companies to open shop here? why do they want to open shop here while they can get cheaper labour in thailand/indonesia? even lots of foreign manufacturing companies are closing shop because our labour are expensive. So maybe the solution is when the foreign car companies open shop here we can start to get more foreign workers in? brilliant plan. You gotta remember that any companies main concern is operating costs. its sad isnt it, our wages are not that high, but high enough that foreign manufacturers are not keen in opening a factory here. Talk about being in between a rock and a hard place.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 12
    • Cash is king on Mar 29, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      Better sell it off to China company.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3
    • kereta_lembu on Mar 29, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      I have to agree that we’ve come too far and made too many policies that are ‘easy’ money for the gov. So, even if Proton were to close down, they will not just drop the prices of imported cars. However, we also cannot carry on pumping in money when we know there is not return on investment. Gov wants people to change their ways to fight the increase of prices, but they are not willing to change their ways to reduce the burden for the people. The only way is to make the right changes, for the right reasons. Sometimes change is painful but keeping something that is wrong is equally painful for others. I’m no expert but I’m sure there are ways to turn things around, but it seems for our country, that is not the main priority!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
    • Andas on Mar 29, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      Same here.. its one of income to our country.. even P1 and P2 sold, and PR take over Msia, car price maybe cheaper but they will come out with new brand of tax.. who knows COE will come to Msia.. a certificate worth 40k..

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5
    • Yes, cheaper cars. A gradual reduction in taxes, definitely not an sudden overnight drop. Looking at the current tension, I think there are more at stake here than just plain old economics.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
    • Pak Lah on Mar 29, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      After cheating the rakyat for 30 years, even not for cheaper cars, Proton should close shop. You like to support Proton? Then give some ‘donation’ to them

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
  • Vincent on Mar 29, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    I ask wonder, if no national car project, no Proton, all resources been putting in rubber and palm oil since 1985.. can Malaysia become world class nation who take control on all car tyre? Can palm oil become widely alternative for cruel oil?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
    • camtakpro on Mar 29, 2016 at 2:57 pm

      If no national car project, VW, Toyota, Honda, Suzuki, BMW, Volvo, Ford, Peugeot… all comes to Malaysia to open up global manufacturing plants.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2
    • john is otak batu on Mar 29, 2016 at 3:08 pm

      Of course can! Just look at our neighbour Singapore!
      They r in much better shape than us!
      Gomet better learn how to manage country wisely instead dumping money into a “30 years cancer”.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3
      • No we cant. If they had just relied on palm oil & rubber as before, we wud be like Brazil now.

        Deeply mired in poverty, no technical footing, whole country fortune depending on commodity prices (which r super low now), an economy easily influenced by ‘outsiders’ and super rich insiders, if ancestors before were rubber tappers now oso current gen is rubber tapper and future gen will certainly be tapping rubber.

        Really want this kind of economy/future? Really?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 15
        • john otak batu on Mar 29, 2016 at 7:34 pm

          Do you think there is a future in Proton/Malaysia? By losing millions each month? To our economy?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1
  • JobLess on Mar 29, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Wat do u expect when the same management and marketing and designers who launched epic fail models Preve Supima Iriz still receving fat paycheques

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
    • Ah Beng on Mar 29, 2016 at 8:14 pm

      Proton’s failure is due to same Nasi Lemak management, 30 years also never change. Look at Proton’s top posts(CEO, COO, Designer etc), all must be a Nasi Lemak then you know lah…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2
  • OMG, wtf? Losing RM25 million per month!? With this amount, the rakyat can buy houses, not rubbish Protons!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  • Ollie on Mar 30, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    I am rather proud of myself. I predicted bankruptcy by Sep 2016 based on cashflow. But now Proton are confirmed bankrupt sooner!

    Refer previous posts tagged ‘Proton’.

    One of the best news for Malaysians!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  • Tok Janggutie on Apr 05, 2016 at 11:49 am

    I don’t get with Proton; over 30 years of car making, 2 production plants, partnerships with Mitsubishi, Honda, part owned Lotus and still they are failing. Too many undesirable car models that are unreliable.

    Why not produce only a few decent models; a small hatchback, a sedan and perhaps an SUV or an MPV, that’s it. Make it half decent in design, handling and economical in running cost with decent engine(s). Then, just keep perfecting these few models as well providing good after sales service.

    I would look at the Dacia (Renault engines) business model from Romania. They are cheap to buy and half decent, these vehicles are selling well in Europe and perhaps else where too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Tok Janggutie on Apr 05, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Proton EMAS were well designed small models, why didn’t they put them into production. Europeans would have bought them if the prices were right. Hybrid & electric cars are selling well in Europe, especially for city use.

    Instead they brought out Iriz which is quite ugly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Shaun on May 25, 2017 at 9:56 am

    “They (employees) and vendors are being asked to choose between Tun Mahathir and the government,” an unnamed senior Proton executive told ST.” – I don’t understand what they mean by ‘choose’. Are they giving out forms to all employees & vendors to tick who they support? Is someone actually counting? And if the government ‘wins’, then they’ll give the money?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
 

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