Tuesday, August 07, 2007

MORE PICS & Video – Proton Dream – Egypt CKD plant – to Boast Exports, Cut Cost, Prop up Sales, Cut loses? DAP: Why MV Agusta Sold for only ONE Euro?

ABOVE & BELOW: Get a subscription and be the first to know, Malaysiakini has the story on the same day as the news break. From Langkawi LID - its top stories are H E RE and H E R E

ABOVE & BELOW: Cast your eyes, look left and right around the empty spaces of Kuala Lumpur and you find the Proton Car Stockpile - you name it, every make and model from its assembly plants in Shah Alam and Rawang
A drowning Proton will clutch at any straw to see some light out of its dark tunnel and keep afloat with its assets. A CKD plant in Egypt with no economy of scale is another disaster in the making if they ever venture into such an area with a small market of 3000 cars in South Africa sold last year. But what to do? Its top brass must be seen to rub shoulders in LID dialogue session entitled "Poverty Eradication Through Human Capital and Capacity Building" between head of states and private sector chiefs.
ABOVE & BELOW: Perdana, Waja or Wira, you find them parked under the Sun to absorb the sunshine to give them a better shine?

Yes Proton is the leader amongst the Africa pack and it must find ways and means to reduce its Car Stockpile – you name it there got it – Only Proton models of all makes in its stockpile - accumulate and maintain a supply of for future use. It has tried every trick in its book to boast Exports, Cut Cost, Prop up Sales, Cut loses without much successes. Proton lost 591 million ringgit ($170.9 million) in its fiscal year ending March 31, compared with a 47 million ringgit profit the previous year. The state-controlled firm has yet to report financial results for its first quarter to June 30.
Proton's shares were down 0.9 percent at 5.50 ringgit at 0358 GMT.(Aug 06 07)

ABOVE & BELOW: Satria, Savvy , Gen 2 or maybe the New Gen3, they will roll out and be parked under the Sun as Stockpiles waiting for the Mederka 50th anniversary Sale?

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August 06, 2007 16:41 PM
Proton Mulls CKD Plant In Egypt Next Year
By Umi Hani Sharani

LANGKAWI, Aug 6 (Bernama) -- National car maker Proton is exploring the possibility of setting up a completely knocked down (CKD) plant in Egypt next year, marking its intention of making inroads into the African market, its managing director, Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir, said today. "From Egypt, we are (hoping) to use it as a base to enter the African continent and even Middle East," he told reporters on the sidelines of the 8th Langkawi International Dialogue (LID). "We are now evaluating the plan but have not made any decision. But today and tomorrow we'll find out more about the interest in these countries." Although Egypt itself is a big country, Syed Zainal said it can serve as another platform for Proton to increase its presence in Saudi Arabia and enter Sudan.

"Looking at traditional markets in Middle East, the Gen-2 and Savvy have been widely received. Hopefully with the new car that we are launching this month, we'd like to make further moves into these countries," he added.

Syed Zainal, who participated in the LID dialogue session entitled "Poverty Eradication Through Human Capital and Capacity Building" between head of states and private sector chiefs, said Proton will be meeting the officials and leaders of the various African countries at LID to gauge their interest in the national cars. "It is preliminary to say (about these ventures) right now. We are now trying to explore, and have more discussions today and tomorrow," he added. Syed Zainal said Proton is already present in South Africa, "so obviously it is somewhere we want to expand, hopefully, in the next year or next financial year," Proton sold over 3,000 cars last year in South Africa alone. "Being here (LID) is a good opportunity for us to talk to some of the African countries, Sudan in particular, and perhaps with the discussion today, it may lead to further things for Proton," he added. He said that Proton also hopes to export its cars from South Africa to other parts of the continent. "But we have to be mindful that the markets are very small and to go one by one may not be the right way. But through South Africa, we'll get more volume and better economies of scale," he added.

= = == = =and the Unexplained sale of MV Agusta
Proton must explain

Updated: 07:16PM Mon, 06 Aug 2007, from SUN

PETALING JAYA (Aug 6, 2007): DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng (ABOVE)says Proton must explain why it sold MV Agusta for only one euro last year when BMW can buy Husqvarna Motorcycles, a unit of MV Agusta, for an undisclosed sum this year. He said in a statement today Proton Holdings Bhd (Proton) acquired MV Agusta for 70 million euros (US$96.7 million) in 2004 and sold early last year for a token sum of one euro. Public interest requires a full accounting from Proton on how BMW can pay an undisclosed sum for one of the many units of MV Agusta, while Proton sold off the entire MV Agusta for only one euro, he said. Proton's 57.57% stake in MV Agusta was disposed of to GEVI SpA, a special purpose vehicle, for one euro.

The important question is why Proton could dispose off MV Agusta lastyear for one euro and made losses of RM500 million in a short space of a year whereas one year later BMW can pay cash to buy a unit of MV Agusta for an undisclosed sum, Lim said. "Something is very wrong that Proton can lose money where others can find profits. Such unchecked bleeding can be seen in Proton's failure to meet its key performance indicators (KPIs) for the fiscal year ended March 31 (FY07) as revenue dropped 37% to RM4.9 billion from RM7.8 billion in FY06," he said.

Proton incurred a net loss of RM591.4 million against a profit of RM 46.7 million previously. Its cash in hand fell 34% to RM461 million. What is more worrying is that sales fell 40% from 183,824 units to 110,358 units last year, a drop in market share to 32% from more than 60% in 2000. How can Proton expect to survive with such poor sales when its overseas market is a loss-making operation? As Khazanah Malaysia, the Malaysian government's investment arm, holds about 42.74% of Proton and Malaysian investors are the majority shareholders, public interest requires an answer in the interests of good corporate governance and social responsibility._____

Published August 6, 2007, from Business Times

VW-Proton tie-up talks back on track: report
Volkswagen to examine some of Proton's assets this month

(KUALA LUMPUR) Top European carmaker Volkswagen is to examine 'certain assets' of Malaysia's ailing Proton this month, a financial newspaper reported yesterday, indicating talks on a possible tie-up are on track. The Malaysian government is currently in discussions with Germany's Volkswagen about a possible strategic alliance that would help save Malaysia's national carmaker.

The road ahead? A financial paper reports that VW will invest a few hundred million ringgit into Proton to jump-start the venture 'Volkswagen is expected to conduct a due diligence on certain assets of Proton Holdings Bhd sometime this month,' The Edge financial newspaper said, citing industry sources. 'It is understood that Proton's senior management has been informed of the exercise and has been instructed to facilitate and accommodate the due diligence as best as it can.'
Proton needs foreign technical expertise to stem a sharp decline in market share and to cut losses. Previous reports have said Volkswagen may have agreed to pay cash for

a 51 per cent equity in a new company that will own key Proton assets. The Edge said VW would invest 'a few hundred million ringgit' to jump-start the venture. Proton and Volkswagen met for a third time in Germany recently, after talks in Thailand and the US. State investment arm Khazanah Nasional is the controlling shareholder in Proton, with a 42.74 per cent stake. State pension fund EPF and national oil firm Petronas own 12.07 per cent and 8.84 per cent respectively. Khazanah's managing director Azman Mokhtar has set the end of this year as the 'overall deadline' to clinch a deal. Proton last year lost its status as Malaysia's biggest-selling carmaker to homegrown rival Perodua and recently reported larger-than- expected net losses of RM591.36 million (S$261.6 million) for the year to March 2007.

= = = =Watch the Video Clip (40 sec) from the Horses Mouth - Proton CEO Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed + the Proton Stockpiles (inserted Video Clip)

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= == = = == = = ==Background , a year ago and slide continues

August 29, 2006 22:26 PM
Proton Reports RM58.6 Million First-quarter Loss

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29 (Bernama) -- Proton Holdings Bhd announced Tuesday that its after-tax loss rose to RM58.649 million in the first quarter ended June 30, 2006, from RM12.661 million in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Its pre-tax loss increased to RM95.536 million from RM7.361 million as revenue dropped to RM1.418 billion from RM2.054 billion previously. In a statement, Proton attributed the loss to a decline in total car sales in the country and the lack of a fresh line-up of car models as the company transitioned to several new models starting in 2007.

Proton's car sales for the first quarter stood at 32,200 units, compared to 44,367 units for the corresponding period last year. The drop in auto purchases was proportionate to industry trends, where sales across the board declined by five percent in the first half of the year against a year earlier, the national car maker said. "While overall industry sales have dipped, Proton has been affected mainly by the lack of new car models. The bulk of our models have been in the market for several years now while the market is seeking something more fresh and exciting," said managing director Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir. The Proton Saga was first introduced in 1985 while the Wira was launched in 1993, the Perdana in 1995. Proton's Waja was launched in 2000 and the Gen.2 Campro was rolled out in 2004.

The national car maker's latest models are the Savvy, available since last year, and the Satria Neo which was launched middle of this year. Proton's sales were further affected by loan terms, interest rates and lower used car values which required a higher cash top-up to switch to a new car, Syed Zainal Abidin said. Expectations among consumers that car prices would fall further also fuelled the decline, according to him. Syed Zainal Abidin said while cost-cutting measures and better implementation of component sourcing were bearing fruit, promotional and marketing costs have risen.
"These expenses were recorded in the first quarter though the results of this promotion will only be visible in the upcoming quarter," he explained. As an early indication, Proton's car sales in July rose 21 percent from the previous month, the company said. Registration of Proton cars with the Road Transport Department in July stood at 10,018 compared to 8,328 recorded in June, while total industry volume increased by five percent. Proton said its latest model, Satria Neo, has been well-received. Since its launch in June, 2,750 vehicles were sold with 4,000 orders in hand, surpassing Proton's expectations for the niche three-door hatchback.

"This is again evidence that the market wants new cars. Because the development of new cars takes up to two years, Proton can only address this issue around next year," Syed Zainal Abidin said. He said the first-quarter losses were balanced by several initiatives which were implemented since the beginning of this year. These included cost-cutting measures, reduction in operational expenses and streamlining the procurement of components where Proton now sources raw material in bulk for local vendors, he added. Its consolidation and renegotiation with component vendors as well as the implementation of electronic bidding and procurement systems, were also constantly being reviewed, Syed Zainal Abidin said.

To improve the next quarter's performance, he said that Proton would continue to focus on improving operational efficiencies, while simultaneously accelerating its implementation. At the same time, Proton would continue to strengthen its performance in the domestic market while promoting export growth, he added. "Proton's continuous efforts to improve quality have resulted in better customer satisfaction. Warranty claims for Proton's latest additions of Savvy and Satria Neo have been kept minimal at an average of 0.5 percent," Syed Zainal Abidin said. "Our other key focus is to enhance cost competitiveness, more effective use of resources, and to introduce a bigger variety of new models over the next year or two," he said.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't even cut it in their home base and now trying to open a factory overseas? If anyone should believe this guy, it will have to be the simple minded malays in their kampung.

As if having the most under-performing police force, pathetic Attorney-General and tainted politicians are not enough, now we have the most idiotic businessmen....only in Malaysia!

2:52 PM  

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