‘CAR DEAL WILL BOOST PRO­TON’S PROF­ITS’

It will en­joy ac­cess to Geely’s mar­kets in China and S-E Asia, says Mustapa

New Straits Times - - News -

FARAH ADILLA

KUALA LUMPUR bt@me­di­aprima.com.my

IN­TER­NA­TIONAL Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Mustapa Mo­hamed said the agree­ment reached be­tween DRB-Hi­com Bhd and Chin­abased Zhe­jiang Geely Hold­ing Group Co Ltd will strongly boost Pro­ton Hold­ings Bhd’s sales and bot­tom line.

In a state­ment yes­ter­day, Mustapa said the agree­ment also in­di­cated the strong com­mit­ment of Pro­ton to its turnaround plan and to meet the con­di­tions of the RM1.5 bil­lion soft loan ap­proved by the gov­ern­ment in April last year.

“I wel­come the de­ci­sion made by DRB-Hi­com to part­ner with Geely.

“This is a busi­ness de­ci­sion made by DRB-Hi­com and Pro­ton, which I am sure, has taken into ac­count the in­ter­ests of the com­pany and its 10,000 em­ploy­ees as well as an­other 50,000 work­ers in its sup­ply chain,” he said.

On Lo­tus dis­posal, Mustapa said the to­tal exit of Lo­tus from Pro­ton will also re­move one of the main chal­lenges fac­ing Pro­ton in a decade.

“The In­ter­na­tional Trade and In­dus­try Min­istry hopes the deal will en­able Pro­ton to have ac­cess to ex­ist­ing mar­kets of the Chi­nese car­maker, es­pe­cially in China as well as right-hand drive mar­kets in South­east Asia.

“The part­ner­ship will also al­low Pro­ton to tap into Geely’s tech­nol­ogy and R&D (re­search and de­vel­op­ment) fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing a range of plat­forms and pow­er­trains.

“It could also fully re­alise the po­ten­tial of Pro­ton’s pro­duc­tion plants in Tan­jung Malim and Shah Alam, which have a com­bined ca­pac­ity of 380,000 units.”

Mustapa said in the last few years, Pro­ton had only op­er­ated at 40 per cent ca­pac­ity.

“Last year, Pro­ton in­tro­duced four new mod­els, and we hope to see con­tin­u­ously im­prove­ment in its mod­els as a re­sult of the fa­cil­i­ta­tion to be pro­vided by Geely. The part­ner­ship with Geely will mark the be­gin­ning of a new era for Pro­ton.”

PIC BY GHAZ­ALI KORI

In­ter­na­tional Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Mustapa Mo­hamed says the DRB-Hi­com and Zhe­jiang Geely part­ner­ship is a step in the right di­rec­tion.

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