Proton’s search for a foreign strategic partner may come to fruition soon, as The Star reports that China-based Geely could be Proton’s foreign strategic partner.
According to the source, Proton’s top management has been reshuffled in preparation for the arrival of its new foreign strategic partner. Proton’s chief technical officer, Abdul Rashid Musa is said to take over the Proton Edar Sdn Bhd in an effort to improve sales. His move will replace Rohime Shafie, which was the previous CEO for Proton Edar. Rohime has been appointed to another Proton subsidiary. The Star further added that Proton’s new chief technical officer is someone from the Lotus Group.
Geely aside, PSA Group has also shown interest in Proton. “However, between the two, Geely appears to show more interest. Both are busy with their due diligence at the moment … you can see both Geely and PSA officials at Proton’s headquarters almost everyday,” according to sources.
The search of Proton’s foreign strategic partner is part of the government’s condition to Proton for the RM1.5 billion soft loan. The soft loan was meant for Proton to repay its vendors. “Only vendors for component suppliers have been settled so that they can continue supplying parts to Proton. Service providers have not been paid yet,” claimed one source.
What about Suzuki? From what we gathered, some people within Proton views the Suzuki partnership as one-sided, as it only benefits Suzuki. Whether or not there will be future Suzuki rebadged models, it is yet to be seen.
Proton could be announcing its new foreign strategic partner as soon as April. Stay tuned.
Via: The Star