Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Proton: How to sell a tall story [if you can't sell a car]

Bluffing the Backbenchers. Ailing national car manufacturer Proton this week holds a briefing for Parliament's backbenchers to explain why they've screwed up big time. The Board of Directors will impress upon the MPs that everyone is to blame but them. The MPs will, of course, believe them because to doubt them is to doubt the PM himself. And they'll be tasked to look at the bright side - Proton is now so "cheap" that VW will be happy to buy up that 51 per cent stake. In fact, an insider said the briefing is actually a campaign to convince the politicians that it will actually be a good time to do just that: sell off the national car to VW. [Tables taken from bigdogdotcom, who alludes here to a 60-page brief for the backbenchers].

p.s. And how to sell AirAsia. Screenshots has the story here, Citigroup: Sell AirAsia to take profit. A Sydney-based journo-blogger , Ganesh Sahathevan, says Bank Negara should investigate AirAsia for its accounting of deferred taxes. Read AirAsia's Double Standards.


  1. Anonymous12:51 pm

    The day Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Arief was driven out of Proton--thats the day the last nail was hammered in.
    I'm not saying that theres nobody else to take over his place.
    I think in this industry, passion and love for motoring is equally important other than just the business acumen. (Nor am I saying that there is business acumen abundance in the present management. )
    I just feel sad. Wonder if Kia and Hyundai have to go through the political maze as well !
    We've seen it happened to traditional British manufacturers (the pride of their nation as well)-- their Jaguars, Minis, Rolls and so on. But at least they managed to build a tradition over the many years in the business.
    But look at us--- 20 years ? ..and we're in deep shit !!

    Hmmmm --will I still be able to buy spare parts for my proton in the near future ?

  2. Anonymous4:45 pm

    Hmm...I wonder why Screenshots is going after Air Asia?

    And are these comments about internationally accepted accounting standards as they apply to Air Asia another red herring?

    Imho, there seem to be many people who would like to see Tony F land up with egg on his face!

    Including those who subscribe avidly to the "tall poppy" syndrome.

  3. Anonymous8:47 pm

    Proton is what happens when we take too much pride in our native ability and think we are God's gift to the world. The smarter ones are the Thais and Taiwanese of course, which concentrated on spares and assembly than taking on something as big as national pride and then to lose it all two scores down the line. Like it or not, sense should have prevailed. Instead ego the size of a national disgrace took over and you have what you have today. Still think we all Boleh? You gotta be kidding!

  4. Anonymous7:12 am

    They were intent on dismantling Proton. That OR they don't have what it takes to take Proton higher.
    Key is that Proton was Dr Mahathir's pet.
    These people have no sense of pride. Dont know whether that's worse than being incompetent and negligent.
    They're a disgusting bunch.

    As for Air Asia. Tony Fernz is cavorting with Pak Lah's boys. Even got that skunk on board. Smart boy that Tony. So, Jeff Ooi's expose wont amount to anything.
    Wasn't he your friend, bro?

  5. The fraud or intentional mismanagement to run Proton to teh ground as follows:

    1. Despite the weak auto market & sabotage on proton by opening up ie lavisly giving out importaed car AP, Proton intentionally produce wira and sell it to INdon mkt for cheap to create loss.

    2. Intentionally witheld the release new models scheduled such as the MPV and more production of Gen2 and Savvy that could have helped to boost sales

    3. Market share of Proton is intended to weakened to 20-30%

    4. Willing to sell controllign interest in Proton to VW.

    5. Tg Malim plant will be sold at 51% controllign for VW at book value despite the replacement value is 3 times

    6. A plan to sell the Shah Alam land, when it has not been revalued since 1982. Heard its someone's reward for bringing down Proton to the ground.

    7. Research facilities like LOtus will be sold to VW

    8. The development of platform technology invested for RM1 billion to enable the manufacturing of 52 new models and variants will nt be benefited by Proton but by VW (Thats what Tg Malim plant is for)

    9. National Automotive Policy raised cost of car and Malay market wchich prefer Proton end up going for Kancil.

  6. Anonymous10:10 pm

    AIR ASIA - another pekung expose!!!
    Read the earlier MALAYSIAN SAGA.
    �Both parties seem to be inching closer to an agreement,� said the source. One catalyst for the potential success of the talks could be that the small team of Government officials � from the Prime Minister�s Office, the Finance Ministry and Khazanah Nasional Bhd � is more in harmony this time. Previously, it is believed that many people claimed to be speaking either on behalf of Proton or the Government. And that had somewhat �CONFUSED� the potential partner.�The STAR

    Transmile, controlled by Hong Kong-based billionaire businessman Robert Kuok, has been the highest-profile casualty in a spate of announcements revealing financial irregularities at listed Malaysia companies in recent weeks.-AFP

    This is the FIRST TIME that FAX has given a detailed explanation on the reasons behind the grounding of the Fokkers. Of the seven, only one is in flying condition. �The STAR

    "I need to deliver a lot of things. All I need to do is to continue to do as well as I can with all the support and cooperation of so many people, the Cabinet, the civil service and also the GLCs WHO HAVE WORKED HARD," PM said.-- BERNAMA

    Does Tony really think that buying brand new aircrafts are like buying new records .. but does it matter, it is not his money anyway ... he just earns commisions.
    EPF, read Rakyat, have been conned big time !!!

  7. Anonymous12:29 pm

    Once upon a time (not quite so long agolah!), one well connected guy who then headed a well known listed Malaysian company, went for a trade visit to Japan. Among the itinery was a visit to one automobile factory. There, he was thousands and thousands of cars in the parking yard. Upon inquiring, he was told the cars were meant to be exported to the European and American markets. Unfortunately, the cars did not meet certain standards. This entreneur's mind began to swirl. What if these cars were purchased at "besi buruk" price and remarketed in Malaysia as "recond" cars? Definitely a lot of money could be made! Upon coming back to Malaysia, the well-connected entrepreneur consulted the higher-ups. Of course, he obtained the necessary green light (lights). If you guys took up history in school, you should be able to remember the big announcement about Malaysia manufacturing its very own cars, someone won the competition to name the car, the "saga", after the red, hardy "biji saga". What happened then? I guess they just "melted" the doors, engine hood and boot covers, reminted them and got them fixed back. After that, the cars were repainted and sent out to be marketed. There was no real technical transfer agreement. The higher ups were thinking Malaysian workers have the capability to learn and innovate like the Japanese and Koreans. No, we don't, if the job is to loosen and tighten up screws on the assembly line, well, they prefer to remain like that, except for the fact that their pay must go up although the number of screws they loosen and tighten up remain the same. The saga was replaced with a new model with minor modifications. Later, yet a new model was introduced. Technically, Proton made little progress. The engines, chassis and the gearing system were all manufactured in Japan. With progress of the automobile industry (technically) going at lightning speed, is it any wonder that the quandry that we are in now?

  8. Anonymous2:09 pm

    TODAY ...

    July 9th 2007 is Proton
    22nd Year Anniversary Production Car Roll Out.

    First Malaysian made car out from Proton Plant in Shah Alam headed by Y.Bhg Dato Wan Nik Ismail and officiated by Tun Mahathir our PM then. Remember 9th July, 1985.

    Most pioneer proton saga staff do remember ~ that beautiful morning.
    The atmosphere was with proudness in the air. Satisfied. Challenge and Ready.

    Salute to those who made the project a reality during those struggling early days.

    Providing job opportunities to more then 200,000 people directly and indirectly involved on this project.

    Twenty Two years later - they are chewed to pieces by some quarters!!

    Sad. Very sad. :-(

    Thank you for the fond memories and friendship, brothers of saga.

    Cheers & hantuk gelas.