Thursday, June 07, 2007

Selling off Proton in New York

Die, Proton
9 June 2007:
"The attempt to kill Proton has succeeded".
Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who helped gave birth to Proton, said yesterday we are witnessing the killing of a national industry. The new management that took over after the sacking of Tengku Mahaleel by the Abdullah Administration has done everything to commit the murder and they will succeed, he said.
Read Saodah Elias' Mereka Berjaya Bunuh Proton.

Final update, 10pm

"... only rumour without substance". Proton shares rose by as much as 21 per cent today, closing 10 per cent up at the end of the day. By then, VW has described the Edge Financial Daily's report as "definitely wrong and only rumour without substance" [although he added that "We will have a round of talks soon"].
So VW has denied the report. Proton has denied the report. And Sime Darby has denied the report. Only Khazanah's Ahmad Shahizam Shariff did not answer his mobile phone. See Bloomberg's report here.

update 5pm
Sime Darby has denied taking up a stake in Proton but share prices of the (still) national carmaker surged till the end of trading on news that VW will take up 51 per cent in a new company that will hold Proton's assets, R & D facility, and the priced Lotus.
Bernama has the story here.

Original posting
And the winner is ...
VW and Sime Darby will figure in Khazanah Nasional's desperate attempt to save the dying national carmaker that it was entrusted to "save" from the previous administration which, with the benefit of hindsight, wasn't doing too badly at all!
The Khazanah No 2 man has been in New York the whole of this week to tie up loose ends. An agreement is to be signed today [here].
And the loser is ...


  1. Dear Rocky,

    Pls see my post on blogger challenging fellow blogger to sue him.


    Simon Wee

  2. Anonymous1:06 pm

    The second man in Khazanah is Mohamed Zainal Shaari, a former partner in PwC.

    He was my senior in school (a math wizzard) those days and when I arrived in England, he was a legend amongst Govt sponsored professional accountancy students.

    The solution is to sell off Proton????

    Don't need a wizzard to figure that one out. The Government appoint very smart people like Zainal Amoi (as he is coyly known amongst friends) to make sure Govt assets such as MAS & Proton be salvaged and turned around, NOT UPSIDE DOWN!

    For that matter, any idiot, like yours truly, can come into any ailing firm and give asset unbundling exercise as a solution to cover losses.

    The solution is far too simple. Scrap Ethos Consulting induced National Automotive Policy, bring back the old policy and sack the current management of Proton and bring back Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Arief.

    The proof is in the pudding. Five years ago, the flamboyant Tengku could do sales more than DOUBLE what this Azlan the Penguin and Syed Zainal Tahir are doing now!

    Tengku Mahaleel & Co painstakingly build up Proton's cash position and multi billion valued asset in Proton City ONLY to have Azlan made it keel over and now Zainal Amoi organising the garage sales????

    No wonder Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is pissed! Which level headed Malaysian wouldn't be?

  3. Anonymous2:05 pm

    In 20 years time IDR will be for sale too, maybe by then the government have to sale it off for RM1. Just wait and see.

  4. Proton needs to really buck up and re-calculate their finances. They can start off by introducing a more broader spectrum of cars and get out of their current rigid RM40k-RM60k bracket as seen in their 'best' sellers.

    Also, the second hand value is really bad.

    -The Man Who Sold The World-

  5. Anonymous3:50 pm

    Nonsense BigDotCom.

    Yours is the North Korea mentality where you are shown fabulous military and gymnastics display while the rest of the populace starve.

    The 'glorious' Proton of the yesteryears is an illusion which has evaporated in the face of anger from investors abroad (who can retaliate by global trade rules) and the rakyat (who can retaliate with their votes).

    I rather the government bite the bullet and suffer the consequences now than to continue the show-and-dance while Proton festers in its uncompetitiveness.

  6. Anonymous4:21 pm

    Apa yang sdra katakan memang benar, tapi yang payahnya Pemerintah dan pembesar negara blur sangat, nak tahu juga mana perginya berbillion ringgit hak Proton, tak kan hilang gitu saja dalam tempoh 3-4 tahun,masuk poket kut..

  7. Anonymous8:58 pm


    Sime Darby may still take over Proton. It could be doing the Abdullah Badawi. Weeks ago he denied getting married. Two days ago he changed his story. He's getting married. So SD is merely practising pimpinan melalui teladan. I say those GLC managers are fake. F A K E. Selling assets and selling cheaply. A blind person can do that! Whose assets are these wheeeeze kids are selling? Assets built by the people who Khazanah kicked out. I say Khazanah is khianat. Khianat, khianat and khianat. Right on bigdogdotcon!!!

  8. Anonymous9:09 pm

    bro .. you got class

  9. Anonymous10:40 pm

    think about this..

    could it be a conspiracy to screw up proton, and suddenly a well connected SIL or crony will pick up the jewel for RM1. proton sitting on prime land..not to mention the Tg Malim site too

  10. Anonymous9:41 am

    bigdogdotcom said "The second man in Khazanah is Mohamed Zainal Shaari, a former partner in PwC.
    He was my senior in school (a math wizzard) those days and when I arrived in England, he was a legend amongst Govt sponsored professional accountancy students."

    Therein lies the problem. Corporate Malaysia in a hypercompetitive world is still run by the numbers men.What we need are strong doses of imagination not the juggling of numbers.

  11. Thanks Bro. This posting of yours have prompted me to return to my favourite subject-matter again after long missplaced faith...

  12. Anonymous1:23 pm

    Proton cannot remains as it is. It need a foreign technology partner and a totally corporate revamp. Maybe Proton could do something like what Perodua have with Daihatsu.

    The success of any car manufacturer is it's engine and it 's car design. We need foreign expertise in solving these problem even if it mean having foreign car and putting Proton logo on it.

  13. Proton the national pride
    In the beginning till it dies
    The jokes amongst the bloggers
    It is “potong” to the space crowd

    Change management for better results
    Let the good team gone to pasture
    New PM new objectives
    Proton shares drop
    The new team can’t get a foothole
    It is sliding slowly back to the ground

    In business you don’t change good team
    The bottom line and cash flow count
    Unless the previous team was totally losing money
    Then it was time to serve notice to vanish

    Cash flow is the survival for a business
    Without it no company can stay on the chart
    Now one sees the national pride
    The smog stings on its shining armor
    Every time one rubs on it
    It spreads until it loses its shine

    The government seeking a strategic partner
    Talking and negotiating until money dries up
    Eyes seek the global business
    When your home ground is weak
    One can’t even climb the tree

    Proton has to forget
    Look inwards to get its footing
    Forget about their current models
    They aren’t moving
    There are there for years

    Lotus is the name
    Get the engineers to design it
    Then see what it will be

    People want quality
    Beautiful designs like women parade
    Don’t you like it when you see?
    Why forget this basic rule?

    Proton losses national shame
    Asking for help like begging in the market place
    When will the government see it?
    It is still the inner working wrong
    You have a name in oversea market
    Get a new design flash its name
    There you see
    A new kid every one runs crazy

    Proton don’t be a potong
    Don’t do the cut and paste
    It never works
    You bleed in your wounds
    In the market
    You never put a name
    You don’t know how
    You forget………

  14. Anonymous8:28 pm

    mereka sudah buta dengan kebenaran.


  15. Anonymous2:14 am

    Maybe Charanjit Singh cannot differentiate between a car manufacturer and car assembler.

    Perodua has NO CAPABILITIES to develop their own models, at all. All reliant on Daihatsu aka Toyota. Perodua just assemble the Japanese brand at their Rawang plant. That's all!

    Proton, on the other hand has moved on. Waja and Gen 2 are indigenous models, developed by Malaysians. Few more waiting to be launched by Tengku Mahaleel.

    Then they made him go and instead brought Syed Zainal Tahir in to run Proton. Can a car assembler do a car manufacturers job?

    Look at the results!

    What Proton need is a strategic partner to develop its capabilities further, based on their current strength and know how, since they are able to develop their own models.

    Not just be an "Ali-Baba" assembler and stick a national car logo on it, like Perodua!

    Whats the difference between Perodua, Tan Chong, AMIM and other assemblers? Perodua has a "national car" status!

  16. South Korea has one of the most protected auto industry in the world. You'd be having a hard time finding a foreign make on South Korean roads. Only in last 1-2 years a few make has gained entry into Korean market.

    A lot of countries protect their domestic industries. You cannot export rice to Japan without having to pay hefty tariff, and rice is very expensive in Japan, but do you hear Japanese complain about the price of their rice?

    Similarly, USA placed (or have placed, or going to place) a high tariff on imported steel, in order to protect its own steel industry from onslaught from former Soviet bloc countries.

    People who thrive on globalization are the middlemen, those who got nothing to sell and people don't want to sell them anything because their market are too small (SINGAPORE).

    And you know what they say about middlemen everywhere? Wipe them from the surface of the earth.

    The collapse of Proton will bring untold misery not just to thousands of Proton workers, but also the vendor development program painstakingly built by Proton over the years.

    Let me warn everyone lest they forget about this fact: Proton is almost homogenously a Malay company. Unemployed Malays does not become good BN voters.

    Did Pak Lah think that far ahead or not? I mean, did he dream that far ahead or not? Substantial chunk of Malay votes he will lose, if he let Proton dies.

    Hang faham dak ni Lah?

  17. Anonymous7:35 pm

    Imagine this

    1. Proton cars are good in quality.

    i.e. power window is in good working condition. Pay toll via window not via door.

    2. Sales of Proton cars increase.

    Without giving any discount.

    3. Delivery of Proton Cars to customers fast, efficient & clean.

    Not delay-daley grandmummy stories. Cars delivered in full compplete manner - got checklist of items la. With tool kits, floor mat, spare tire given to customer. Clean car - not with dirt all around.

    4. Service Centre with excellence service.

    Not with excuse...Ini Biasa Lah bang.

    5. Product lines that makes sense.

    Not wasting time developing Proton Chanselor that cost RM138k OTR. Utter rubbish. Who on earth want to buy this car with all the crabs in it when you can add tiny more and get an imported name. ( List of shoping dream appear in Motor Trader for that amount of budget)

    6. Attractive interest rates.

    Not at 4.2% while other give 1.8%-2.2% interest. Ha ha ha Proton Commerce!!?

    7. Less Concentrated number of outlets/dealers in one area.

    I.e. Shah Alam has got a highly populated dealer/outlet...
    Glenmarie 2, TTDI Jaya, Giant Stadium, Sec 7, Kota Kemuning Sec 19 , oh yes the grand luxurious waste air-condition
    (separuh kulit kerang look) COE aka Centre of Expenditure! etc

    There is more outlet/dealers in Shah Alam then McD/KFC combined!

    8. Lean & Mean Organization.

    At present, just toss 10 sen coin inside Proton building at COE chances are the coin might hit a Manager head or if you are lucky section or directors head.

    9. Knowledgable Honest & Hungry Salesman/women.

    Not sit down wait to take orders or run away with customer booking fees.


    IF ALL THIS DOES HAPPEN - WILL ANY MALAYSIAN WANT PROTON TO BE SOLD TO FOREIGN PARTIES? Was it that bad 5-6 years ago compared to today.

    Imagine this...Imagine hard. Dude...send in the clowns...

    John Labu.

  18. Anonymous10:59 pm


    You are just plain dumb. For years Proton was collecting money the rakyat because we did not have much choice and the corrupt Tun mahathir made it hard for us to make a choice. Govt depts, police etc all use proton..of course they build up their cash...but where is Proton overseas mart...NOTHING...Look at Koreans who started their auto industry jsut a few years earlier...a look where they are now..competing with the big boys in the most toughest auto mart in the world the US...THATS A FACT YOU BIGDUMBDUMBER DOT COM

  19. greetings anon,

    are you saying that new police patrol mobiles are not of national Proton make ?

    i do not recall seeing other non-national make other than proton cars making up the patrol cars for Proton.

    The problem is all the new proton mobiles being brought by the govt / police departments have not changed ...

    what is making Proton weaker now than previously ?

    sure, myvis sell more than potong wira/waja/gen2 but there is one thing bigdogdotcom didn't miss

    it is the SLOW DECISION MAKING PROCESS OF THE CURRENT MGT OF PROTON and its elector - Khazanah in not being able to decide as to how foreign participation should take place ... blame the previous management ? I wouldn't be that quick because isn't Khazanah's current fault in not allowing foreign owners to take the driving seat by taking up the equity in Proton ? If Khazanah / Proton is sincere in turning around, they should have made the quicker decision as to whom should take the centre stage should VW/GM wants to buy Proton.

    Despite Tengku Mahaleel's removal, I do not see as to how efficient they [NEW TEAM] have managed to TURN ARD PROTON

    If Proton is really hopeless to begin with, why did VW knock on our doorstep to buy into it ?

    I'm sure they have plans to either turn them around or to use proton to help them to make more money.

    If ur frustrated that the delay of Proton's demise to bring you cheaper IMPORTS - u can forget it because EVEN IF PROTON CLOSE SHOP - the fact remains that the AP KINGS will still make your car pretty expesnive to feed into their own COFFERS

    Is the sale approved permits channelling the real funds to the government or to those whom it is serving well now ?

    I do not foresee CARS to come down crashing its prices anytime soon not until PETROL / DIESEL become so scarce wherein petrol / diesel combustion engine by then would become so worthless then in years to come

  20. Anonymous5:11 am

    First of all, I would like to say thanks to Rocky Bru for providing us this venue to dish out our comments on our beloved Proton...

    I do agree with "handshake", that protectionism is a norm in countries that do try to develop their national industries, especially the example cited, being South Korea.
    I once had a classmate in school, who was from Korea and I asked him as to why Korea had many national car companies and he had as a matter of fact told me that Koreans despised any other Koreans who uses cars that are not of the Korean make and model.... it's as simple as that and it was ingrained in their cultural fabric... The national pride, made KIA, Hyundai and to some extent Ssyanyong and Daewoo thrived, back in the 90's and even up till now.
    I'm not denying the current reality that globablization is the proverbial elephant in the room, which cannot be ignored and thus companies have to buck up and be more competitive.
    However I do believe that we should not destroy the ability to develop engineering capacity within our national boundaries, rather than just be the modern day sweatshop of the world.
    It takes time to develop capacity. It takes money to develop capacity. It takes efforts and mistakes to develop and grow the capacity. As long as it is progressing and moving forward, that should be okay.
    To kill Proton now, after it has been nurtured and fed into an adolescent somewhat creative tiger, should have been a journey which we should have never began with in the first place.
    So ultimately, do we want to go long term by developing capacity, undoubtedly making mistakes along the way but ultimately leaving a legacy and heritage for our future generations to be proud of or do we want to think in the short term by cannibalizing Proton to foreign hunters in search of exotic bounty animals in the jungles of South East Asia.
    And yes, Proton should be more of a multi-racial company rather than a Malay centric one. Only the best would do for Proton, that should be their principle....