Malaysiakini Opinion

Why any version of Proton 2.0 will fail

P Gunasegaram  |  Published:  |  Modified:

QUESTION TIME | It does not matter if it is manufacturing electric cars or energy efficient vehicles (EEVs), or intelligent cars which drive themselves or a combination of them; any other national car project will fail with further massive losses to the public which eventually underwrites the profits or the losses.

It benefits only the egotistical aspirations of one man - Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the pockets of one of his cronies, Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, who owns a majority 50.1% in Proton Holdings through DRB-Hicom, the other 49.9% owned by Geely of China.

Interestingly, DRB-Hicom recently sold its entire stake in rubbish disposal firm Alam Flora to a related company, Syed Mokhtar-controlled Malakoff for RM945 million cash, which it said will be used to retire Proton debt and to invest in the development of new models. Could one of the new models be an EEV? Time will tell.

The car industry simply does not have the scale and the technological base to compete in the international markets and is a burden to Malaysia and its people. Therefore, it should be slowly wound down as Australia did. It was not competitive in 1983 when it was first mooted and it is not competitive now. What keeps it alive is tariff protection....

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