‘CAR DEAL WILL BOOST PROTON’S PROFITS’
It will enjoy access to Geely’s markets in China and S-E Asia, says Mustapa
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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.”
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed says the DRB-Hicom and Zhejiang Geely partnership is a step in the right direction.