Published on September 23rd, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Is Proton For Sale?
Strong rumors have surfaced that the PSA Group (Peugeot Citroen), Renault and Suzuki Motors have indicated interest in a deal to take over Proton which is owned by Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom. DRB-Hicom is open to having a partner to help move the Proton brand further forward after years of profit being hit by tough competition and higher competition. Proton is currently in partnership with Suzuki Motors to rebadge a few models in Malaysia which are slated to be launched in the next 12 months. This would give Suzuki Motors the edge in working closer with Proton and bringing more models to the region whilst utilising the Proton factory in Tanjung Malim to build cars for the local and regional markets. It could be a win-win solution for both Proton and Suzuki.
(Suzuki Motors Corp. has ceased operations in Malaysia since early this year and most Suzuki dealers are now Proton dealers)
The Malaysian government gave Proton RM1.5 billion ringgit (USD365 million) in financial aid in April this year and Proton have worked hard to deliver new products that have gained back public interest. The just released Proton Persona has received very good sales response and to date the sales have been very encouraging with more than 6,000 firm orders. This is good for Proton taking into consideration the weakening Malaysian automotive market and the tougher car financing regulations which are preventing many middle class Malaysians from buying a new car.