Proton would see a transformation of a new leaf there on, now founder and dictatorial remote-controller Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is completely out of the picture after 33 years.
Malay Mail Online story:
Era of Dr M’s meddling in Proton over, says Najib
PUTRAJAYA, June 14 ― Proton Holdings Bhd is entering a new chapter where it will no longer face the interference of politicians such as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
At the launch of the company’s new Perdana sedan today, Najib said such meddling in the decision-making process at Proton was why the carmaker needed billions in government assistance to remain viable.
“There has been too much political interference in Proton’s strategy, management ― including of personnel ― and business model. We saw the results of that early this year. A manufacturer which should be a source of national pride was facing a very difficult situation.
“Now, I am pleased to say, there have been significant changes at the top levels of Proton. Tun Mahathir’s era of political interference has come to an end,” Najib said.
MORE TO COME
Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak said this during the launch of Proton’s flagship model Perdana.
He also wanted Proton to be less reliant on the domestic market but also explore the opportunities as a car for the export market.
Proton must become less reliant on Malaysian buyers, says Najib
BY AZURA ABAS – 14 JUNE 2016 @ 11:16 AM
KUALA LUMPUR: Proton must become less reliant on Malaysian buyers and build up a strong export programme. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, addressing the future of Proton, said the government’s assistance to the national carmaker was subject to conditions, such as the company identifying a strategic foreign partner.
The government in April had approved a RM1.5 billion loan to Proton Holdings to enable the company to pay for components that had been supplied. The loan, Najib stressed, was not a bailout as it came with strong conditions.
“We stepped in because the well-being of the people is always our first concern. We will never fail to support Malaysian workers and suppliers. We will always fight to ensure that no one is left behind.
” The assistance was conditional on Proton meeting stringent standards of professional management going forward; ensuring that the company has a model for long-term sustainability; and immediately identifying a strategic foreign partner.
“The loan was not a blank cheque. The company must prove itself, both in the domestic and the international markets. Ultimately, Proton must build up a strong export programme and become less reliant on Malaysian buyers.”
The prime minister was speaking at the launch of the all-new Proton Perdana today. The Perdana, now in its fourth generation, is developed via a strategic collaboration with Honda Japan Ltd. It is priced at RM113,888 for the 2.0 variant and RM138,888 for the 2.4 variant. It has already received around 900 pre-bookings. The company expects to sell around 3,000 units by year-end.
Recently Malaysian Government agreed to provide Proton with conditional financial packages to the amount of RM1.5b, to alleviate its current and strategic issues.
Proton is required to revamp and restructure its management and use some of the provided funds to immediately address working capital issues such as long list of local vendors’ debt.
The company which started as the National Car Project is expected to find a strategic partner, to ensure the required investments for research and development, which is deemed necessary for products to remain relevant in a very competitive market.
Proton market share in Malaysia dropped from its peak of 76% in 1993 to the current 18%.
Proton also is expected to improve its marketing programs, to ensure the current products market acceptability.