Being fair to Proton (Pt II)

Proton badge, present day

Proton badge, present day

Proton is moving into a new era on the matrix of quantity-quality. Both, in the context and perspective of the corporation which started from the national car project and the brand of a Malaysian made car.

The opportunity arises from the take over and under the control of the present DRB-Hicom leadership and management, which managed to turn around, restructure, add value and expand in the activity thrusts, operational growth and market capitalisation since been under the Al Bukhary Group beginning in 2006.

The rationalisation and realisation of assets, resources, competency, strength and current market potential and opportunities, Proton would embark into even bigger growth. It is committed into production of 500,000 units by 2018.

Several strategies have been outlined. It starts with beefing the customer experience, improving and offering variables in packages and marketing campaign and continuous expansion of existing market from the rationalisation of qunatity and quality at branches and dealership level. Proton is very serious and committed in attacking to the Malaysian motoring consumer market.

The quality of current and upcoming products would be determined from the supply chain and vendor programs. More emphasis would be given on materials, component and built quality. This would complement the customer experience strategy.

Technology benchmarking would part of the product definition.

The action plan outlined for moving forward is Proton is within internal resources  systematically working its way out of the comfort zone and depend lesser of protectionism but instead focus on the business acumen and commercial forces.

“We would like to shout less but do more”, remarked Deputy CEO and COO Dato’ Lukman Ibrahim. “We would be redeeming on our previous domestic market and fully realise its potential, offer value for money products and market oriented. We would also capitalise on the brand loyalist and loyalty”.

Speaking to BigDogDotCom recently, Lukman got his plans outlaid and being rolled out.

“Give us twelve months. You would see the results”.

The confidence is easily substantiated. Proton has developed the platform, seen in the Preve and Suprima S models. Recently, it acquired the NE01 engine from Petronas, which was developed from their experience and technology derived from Sauber. Product development would based on the commonality.

Export market is very much into its sight. Proton would embark into ‘fit-for-purpose’ strategy for different export markets. In some emerging markets, it is building strategic collaboration which include making selected Proton models made available as CKD.

It is not far fetch to see Proton seriously  is having the domestic market of China and India in its sight. Proton is fully realising from an earlier strategic collaboration and partnership.

On Lotus, the brand is moving on a very encouraging direction since the management changeover. Presently, Lotus is experiencing a backlog of 600 cars. Proton is targettng the annual demand for Lotus is 10,000 units by 2018. That is minus the market from China.

Part of the rationalisation of resources is to optimise Lotus’s design team, in Norwich, United Kingdom and Ann Arbor, Michigan. The experience and exposure, coupled with the Petronas NE01 engine design and development team (brought into Proton when the engine was acquired), would be synergised together with Proton’s design and development team which already proven their mettle in products such as Waja, Gen-2, Persona, Saga BLM, Preve and the most recent, Suprima S.

Proton is probably looking to introduce an SUV either being developed or under the Lotus brand by 2018. There is a huge potential for this segment in emerging and growing markets such as China, India and West Asia.

It is within sight that Proton would be fulfilling the export market outlined by NAP 2014 far ahead of the 2020 target. If by then the export number is 100,000 units and  average realised value per unit is RM50,000.00, Proton would add RM 5 billion per annum into Malaysian export value every year.

*Updated by Noon

Published in: on January 28, 2014 at 06:30  Comments (14)