Mainstream
Mounting pressure to turn around Proton
Khairul Khalid | 08 Dec 2017 00:30
Nobody is expecting an instant turnaround, with DRB-Hicom targeting to bring Proton into the black in five years with Geely, says an automotive executive
Although it’s still too early to judge DRB-Hicom Bhd’s move to tie up its flagship Proton with China’s Zhejiang Geely Holdings Group Co Ltd, the pressure to turn the ailing national carmaker around will soon mount.

DRB-Hicom posted a RM736.56 mil net profit in the second quarter ended Sept 30, only its second profitable quarter in the last eight, but that is largely due to the RM1.1 bil research and development grant that Proton received from the government in October.

An automotive executive tells FocusM Proton’s stronger sales is a good start, but the fact that it is still far from breaking even means that the Proton-Geely joint venture will be under increasing scrutiny beginning next year.

“Proton is still losing money, despite the new models doing well. Nobody is expecting an instant turnaround, with DRB-Hicom targeting to bring Proton into the black in five years with Geely. All eyes will be on them beginning next year, especially with the anticipated launch of a new model at the end of next year.