In April last year, Malaysia’s Trade Minister Mustapa Mohamed said Proton “needs to graduate” from government protection. The company’s share of the local auto market had declined to about 15 percent from a peak of 74 percent in 1993, he said.
Mustapa said at the time he was informed that “there were instances when Proton appeared to be unprofessional in its decision-making process” and the company needs to quickly identify a strategic foreign partner and be professionally managed.
The successful partner for Proton will be able to increase their production through the carmaker’s Tanjung Malim plant, which has a low utilization rate, according to DRB-Hicom in a Feb. 7 statement. The company also highlighted the lightweight platform technology owned by Lotus Cars as a benefit for a foreign partner.
DRB-Hicom has said that it aims to complete the selection of the strategic partner by the first half of this year. The company said it aims to maintain a “significant equity” in Proton, without specifying the level of ownership.
By Courtesy of Bloomberg