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NEWS UPDATES 5 December 2009

Proton’s hybrid car plan a timely move, analysts say

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Proton Holdings Bhd’s decision to embark on a mass production for hybrid cars is being met with a positive response from local analysts, who generally feel that it is a timely move, the StarBiz reported.

However, the quality of its cars, an issue that has dogged the national carmaker for years, is still a cause for concern, they say.

“The stigma has not gone away. There are still concerns about the quality of Proton cars,” said an analyst from a local research house.

“To compete with the other hybrid players, the question is whether Proton is ready to be up there in terms of quality. But it is a good thing to go into, as the market is still new,” he added.

It was reported earlier this week that Proton was hoping to embark on mass production of its hybrid cars by 2011 to overcome rising costs and address environmental concerns.

Managing director Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir reportedly said the cars would be developed through collaboration with its Britain-based subsidiary Lotus, and several component suppliers like battery manufacturers.

Another analyst said Proton could tie up with a strategic partner to overcome any “quality” issues. “They can leverage off a partner that has the technical expertise on hybrid technology,” he said.


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