Malaysian manufacturer continues to look for foreign partner
7 June 2010

Proton and VW have ended talks about a possible tie-in.

The discussions had been ongoing for more than two years, with VW reportedly lining up an equity stake in the Malaysian car manufacturer.

In a statement VW said it has other priorities and that a potential collaboration with Proton could not be pursued.

The Malysian government has long said it is looking for a foreign car maker to buy a stake in Proton. Both General Motors and PSA Peugeot-Citroen have been rumoured as possible partners in the wake of the VW talks collapsing.

Proton's appeal is heighten as Malaysia imposes tariff controls on imports, making them much more expensive than locally built cars.

The Malaysian government has indicated a partner of Proton would be given greater freedom on these tariffs.

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Comments
6

7 June 2010

Someone elsewhere on Autocar predicted this would happen! I wonder who'd be best for Proton? PSA, perhaps?

7 June 2010

I would suggest that a Proton-BMW tie up would be good. Certainly no product cross over and Proton seem to pushing themselves as a sporty/motorsport brand at present.

BMW need a low cost manufacturing base for there new small car ranges and Protons under utilised factory is pretty state of the art.

I also believe that Proton have employed some ex BMW senior managers in the recent past, so they have a bit of a head start.

All proton cars really need is a lift in build quality, they drive well enough, are reliable and have excellent dealers.

7 June 2010

[quote jonfortwo]

I would suggest that a Proton-BMW tie up would be good. Certainly no product cross over and Proton seem to pushing themselves as a sporty/motorsport brand at present.

BMW need a low cost manufacturing base for there new small car ranges and Protons under utilised factory is pretty state of the art.

I also believe that Proton have employed some ex BMW senior managers in the recent past, so they have a bit of a head start.

All proton cars really need is a lift in build quality, they drive well enough, are reliable and have excellent dealers.

[/quote] Interesting - half of that I didn't know, the other half I hadn't thought of!

7 June 2010

[quote jonfortwo]

All proton cars really need is a lift in build quality, they drive well enough, are reliable and have excellent dealers.

[/quote]

I'd say they need more than that. The Gen2 looks fine but the Savvy? Jeez what a horrible looking car with a completely naff interior. Not good enough when the likes of Kia/Hyundai make such good cars now at the budget end of the market.

No, they need some new models and a major advertising campaign plus a sweetener like Kias 7 year warranty if they are to be taken seriously.

7 June 2010

I drove a Savvy a few weeks back, drives like a little terrier, great gearbox and steering, low on power but makes the most of what its got. As for the looks, beauty is in the eye........but i like the look of it, different and distinctive. As stated, the plastics need a lift but i dont get too bothered by such things and as long as it hangs together, i am happy.

As regards a 7 year warranty, try taking your 6.5 year old Rio into the dealer to have the wheel bearing/power steering pump/glovebox lid repaired under warranty and watch the argument ensue over wether its reasonable wear and tear. 3 year warranty is just fine thanks.

But yes Proton need new models, that is what a tie-up is all about.

7 June 2010

I was right & this time round VW has packed up for good. End of the story. Looking at hindsight, it was a sheer waste of time for VW to negotiate with Proton. Malaysian's car market is about 200,000 cars a year which is peanuts. VW produces more cars than that per year. They are better off concentrating in the Chinese market & they have been there since the 70's under the Chinese brand "Shanghai." I think Audi is more popular in China than VW. As for Proton well, in such difficult times for the auto industry as a whole it would be very difficult for Proton to look for another partner. Basically it has nothing to offer. The only thing they hope for is that the Govt will keep on protecting them by imposing high tariffs on non national cars in order to ensure her survival. In a way the Malaysian public is paying the price to keep Proton afloat. Export market is virtually non existent. FYI, Lamborghini has sold more cars than Proton in UK last year despite the enormous price difference. Proton can talk to all the car manufacturers in the universe but they will be no takers & that I am quite sure of.

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