New car models will boost Proton

Source: http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/6/21/business/14601582&sec=business

Wednesday June 21, 2006

New car models will boost Proton

By sabry tahir

Proton Holdings Bhd will be competitive again when it starts producing more new models, Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said.

Proton’s management planned to introduce more models and on a regular basis and only launch new models after doing a thorough survey of market needs, he said after opening the Bumiputra Manufacturers and Services Industry Association of Malaysia seminar on The Role of Packaging and Labelling in Successful Businesses’’ yesterday.

Husni said Proton would be getting market feedback from surveys, especially those on customer preference, before introducing a model commercially.

The challenge faced by Proton is actually in the overseas market, not domestically. Proton sells 200,000 cars a year against the industry average of between 400,000 and 500,000 units, he said. While typical car manufacturers come up with a new model every six months, Proton is still producing variants of the Wira and even Saga, the model the company started with in 1985.

Earlier, in his speech, Husni said bumiputra entrepreneurs needed cutting-edge technology and know-how if they wanted to remain competitive in both the local and overseas markets.

To migrate to higher value-added manufacturing, bumiputra players must deploy new technology, especially that for packaging purposes, so that they were able to market own-brand products.