Sunday, May 28, 2017

Eyeing an automobile U TURN by someone

First Turn - June 13, 2014

June 13, 2014 7:00 pm JST

Mahathir seeks to turn Malaysia's Proton around with Geely's help

WATARU YOSHIDA, Nikkei staff writer
SINGAPORE -- Proton, founded in 1983 under the auspices of then 
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, once enjoyed good sales as 
Malaysia's national car brand. But recent years have not been so kind. 
The semi-public automaker Proton Holdings has been struggling as 
local Malaysian consumers have shunned the car, namely citing poor quality.
     The carmaker has started to fight back. It recently appointed Mahathir 
as chairman, and it is working to clinch a deal with a major Chinese carmaker. 
Yet, there are doubts about how much the 88-year-old former prime minister 
can do to revive Proton.
     According to the Malaysian financial daily The Edge on Tuesday, 
Mahathir has reportedly said there is no need for government assistance 
for Proton. However, the company's domestic market share has plunged 
to about 20% from its peak of 50% in 2001. The government effectively 
requires that Proton be used for small taxi vehicles. Today, this policy 
is essentially keeping Proton afloat.
     Nevertheless, Mahathir appears determined to go without government 
help. In April, he flew to China with Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, who runs 
the Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom, which owns Proton. The two 
met with Chinese political and business leaders. According to local media, 
Mahathir at the time started crafting a partnership deal between Proton 
and Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.
     In mid-May, he became Proton chairman after the company formulated 
a strategy for revival through a partnership with the Chinese carmaker. 
At the end of May, current Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak 
acknowledged that the partnership negotiations were making headway.
A matter of quality
Specifics of the deal with Geely have yet to be disclosed, but Najib hinted 
at the possibility of Proton manufacturing Geely-designed vehicles.
     Proton's strongest selling point has been the low price of its vehicles. 
But, as one Malaysian woman in her 20s put it, Protons are low-quality, 
and this is keeping customers away.
     Geely owns Sweden's Volvo Car Group. Mahathir wants to use this 
connection to produce Protons that can measure up to global standards. 
He characterizes Protons as cars for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, 
and envisions that the company will export its vehicles to rapidly growing countries 
in the region.
     Mahathir is looking both to recapture a dominant share in the domestic market 
and to raise Proton's profile globally. This mirrors the company's original strategy 
used when Proton was founded.


U Turn - May 25, 2017

Friday, May 26, 2017


PROTON

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det  
on May 25, 2017

1. Proton has been sold. It has been sold to foreigners.

2. They say Proton is my brainchild. Now the child of my brain 
has been sold.

3. Yes. I am sad. I can cry. But the deed is done. Proton 
can no longer be national. No national car now. We Malaysians 
are glad to be rid of this pesky car. I am sure Proton will do 
well. It will be a commercial success. It will be sold all 
over the world. The Proton name will be everywhere.

4. It will be like Singapore. Malaysians are proud of this 
great city-state. If it had not been sold it would be, perhaps, 
as well developed as Kuala Kedah or Kuala Perlis. Then we 
cannot be proud of Singapore.

5. Now we can be proud of Proton. With money and superior 
technology it will compete with Rolls Royce and Bentley.

6. But I cannot be proud of its success. I cannot be proud 
of the success of something that does not belong to me 
or my country. Maybe other Malaysians will, but not me. 
Come to think of it, if our country is sold to others, to 
the very rich people of other countries, I am sure our 
country will become well developed too. It can even 
be a fully developed country – exceeding the expectations 
of Vision 2020.

7. It will be a great country with super highways, 
high-speed rail (HSR), gleaming skyscrapers, shining 
new towns, beautifully landscaped and lighted. But 
I can’t be proud! Can I be proud to be living on the 
fringes of this great country so well developed by the buyers.

8. I will die soon. I am already beyond average age. 
And as I slip into my final years, or month or days, 
I will watch as our beloved country is sold to 
foreigners to settle the trillion Ringgits that we owe. 
We will have to sell more and more of our country.

9. What are our assets? Our land of course!! That was 
what we did in the past. We sold chunks of our country. 
We lost the land we sold. That is what we are doing now. 
And that will be what we will have to do – or forfeit 
our country; like we forfeit Proton.

10. Proton the child of my brain has been sold. 
It is probably the beginning of the great sell-out. 
The process is inexorable. No other way can 
we earn the billions to pay our debts. The only way 
is to sell our assets. And eventually we will lose our 
country, a great country no doubt, but owned by others.

11. I am a sissy. I cry even if Malaysians are dry-eyed. 
My child is lost. And soon my country.

12. Please excuse me.