Published on August 14th, 2019 | by Subhash Nair2
DreamEDGE Should Have Bought into Proton When it Had the Chance
It’s not every day a new car company is born. It’s especially during a global economic slowdown where just about every market and established brand is having a hard time moving cars. Which is part of the reason why starting a 3rd Malaysian national car is such a strange prospect.
On the one hand, it could be partially justified by following this line of thinking:
Many established brands are too entrenched in their traditional ways of thinking to move into new and future technologies effectively.
The automotive industry is a major catalyst for economic growth.
But what puzzles is this:
It’s going to take DreamEDGE years and BILLIONS to start a plant up and get a dealership and service network going. If they were really interested in building Malaysian cars, they ought to have bought over Proton back in mid-2017 when the company was for sale. Geely bought less than 50% of the company for RM460.3 million and got access to the company’s assets, suppliers, talent, brand and network. The modern Tanjong Malim plant already had a capacity of 150,000 vehicles annually back then.
And yes, we know that it took a LONG time for Proton to finally find a suitable foreign strategic partner, so there must have been ample opportunity for DreamEDGE to pitch some kind of deal back then.
After all, they already had a working relationship with Proton. Their TuneD division has produced body kits for some of the company’s models from as far back as 2013. There are also indications that DreamEDGE was partly responsible for the design of the Accord-based Perdana.
Sure. The argument made last week about how the 3rd national car would benefit Malaysians was fine and dandy, but Proton had many Malaysians working for them (and they still do). Couldn’t DreamEDGE have pitched its way into Proton ownership and kept the company 100% Malaysian-owned back in 2017 when the car market was booming? All the under-utilised facilities were there and now Geely is steering them into competitiveness.