Business News

Published: Friday June 14, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Friday June 14, 2013 MYT 1:00:06 PM

Proton-Honda JV deal finalised

Indonesian debut: (from left) Proton finance head Terence Soo, Lukman, Malaysian ambassador to Indonesia Datuk Syed Munshe Afdzaruddin Syed Hassan, Khamil, Proton Edar Indonesia acting head Mohd Asri Khayan and International business head Dr Badrulhisham Mohd Ghazali.

Indonesian debut: (from left) Proton finance head Terence Soo, Lukman, Malaysian ambassador to Indonesia Datuk Syed Munshe Afdzaruddin Syed Hassan, Khamil, Proton Edar Indonesia acting head Mohd Asri Khayan and International business head Dr Badrulhisham Mohd Ghazali.

JAKARTA: Proton Holdings Bhd has finalised the details of its collaboration with Japanese automotive giant Honda Motor Co.

“We are unable to disclose any detail for now. This is Honda’s first collaborative agreement with another original equipment manufacturer and it would like to keep thing under wraps as details are trade secrets,” Proton executive chairman Tan Sri Mohd Khamil Jamil told reporters on the sidelines of the Preve launch in Jakarta yesterday.

He said the market should expect the first variant of the agreement in a couple of months.

This confirms a StarBiz report recently on the joint venture between Proton and Honda in which the former would be using the Honda Accord chassis for the new product, touted to be the Perdana replacement model.

He dismissed speculation that Proton would be shifting its Shah Alam operations to the plant in Tanjung Malim.

“It is not practical, not economical and neither does it make much business sense to do that immediately,” he said. The Shah Alam plant produces about 160,000 cars annually.

Deputy CEO Datuk Lukman Ibrahim said the Tanjung Malim plant would be on full utilisation by the second half of next year.

The plant is capable of producing 150,000 cars a year, and is just running on 60% of its full capacity.

The unused capacity had attracted many OEMs to collaborate with Proton to penetrate the Asean market. However, Lukman skirted the question on whether the improved utilisation would be a result of the Honda collaboration.

He also mentioned that the Preve hatchback was planned for launch after the Hari Raya celebrations, confirming the same StarBiz report.

Meanwhile, Proton is still pushing ahead with its vendor rationalisation programme, in a bid to reduce its cost by 30% in five years.

“We have reduced our vendors from 240 to 213, and those who don’t meet our criteria will be withdrawn from our vendor list,” he said.

He also said Proton was on track with its attention on the export markets, which in its five-year business plan would be Asean, China, the Middle East and North Africa.

He is also eyeing the UK market to export the Preve and Exora.

“Proton will continue efforts to develop the Global Small Car, codenamed the P230A.

“We will also continue research and developmentwork on the energy efficient vehicle concept, with the first prototype scheduled to be unveiled next year,” he added.

Khamil also said DRB-Hicom had cleaned up the books of Lotus and was on a clean slate to move on from its financially troubled state of affairs.

“We are coming up with variants of the Evora, Exige and Elise based on improved technological innovation and upgraded performance,” he said.

He said the new Lotus model was expected to be unveiled in three years following the scrapping of the five year-five car plan conceived by the previous management.

“Up to May, we achieved encouraging sales of 80 Lotus cars, which is more than the 70 units for the whole of last year,” he said.

Tags / Keywords: Business, Business News, Proton, Honda, collaboration

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