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Future Plans - Proton Is Looking To A More Export Oriented Future - (Global)

May 6th, 2008

Proton is planning a major expansion of its production to better service both its domestic markets and to attack export sales with more vigour in the next five years.

Proton Cars Berhad managing director, Dato Syed Zainel, who has headed up the company and helped engineer its financial and sales turnaround over the past two years is spearheading a ramp up in production and a massive increase in export sales.

Proton will see a number of new models brought to market over the next two years with the company set to reduce the number of platforms in its range while increasing the number of different products it offers in a wider range of sectors.

A new MPV model is due in 2009 along with a high performance version of the Satria Neo, a replacement for the Waja medium size car and a new version of the Jumbuck ute all set for debut in the next two years, while new powerplants including high performance petrol and turbo diesel units are under development.

Proton will double production at its key Tanjung Malim facility near Kuala Lumpur in the next few months to satisfy increased domestic demand as well as to service a major increase in export sales which will almost quadruple in the next three years. Proton export sales totalled just over 14,000 units in 2007 while the company hopes to increase this to around 55,000 per year by 2011.

Zainel has targeted a number of key strategies to take Proton's core business to a new and more competitive level both domestically and internationally.

According to Zainel Proton is now a company that has awakened and has learned valuable lessons from its operations in the past.

"We are constantly reviewing plans and enhancing implementation of the initiatives we adopt," said Zainel.

"These initiatives include new products, new marketing plans and a more focussed approach to high growth export markets," he said.

Outlining eight key strategies the company has adopted for future growth and success Zainel emphasised the importance the support of employees and vendor partners has played in the company's turn around so far.

"The work so far has involved huge efforts from our personnel and particularly our vendors who have delivered a massive increase in product quality across all sectors of our business and the success can be measured in sales and profits," he added.

"We have identified eight key strategies including most importantly product development as well as quality enhancement, cost improvement, enhancement of production and efficiency, vendor development, the development of human capital, enhancing sales distribution and after sales service and the establishment of strategic partnerships and alliances," he added.

"Product Development is the key strategy because without the right product, for the right market at the right time and at the right price, a car company can not hope to succeed," he said.

"It is really all about producing cars that are not only exciting but meet the demands of the market and are of higher quality," Zainel said.

"Our strategies dovetail particularly in the areas of quality enhancement and improvement, cost improvement and enhancement of production efficiency.

"Proton's ultimate goal is to acquire the right technology, expertise and know how to become a competitive global car manufacturer producing cars which are competitive in terms of all critical dimensions - pricing, safety and design and that these Proton cars be accepted internationally."

"Proton will target a larger market share in export markets across four key regions including the UK and Western Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia and Australasia," Zainel concluded.

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