Proton targets to be top in car sales in Malaysia by 2023 and top in Aean by 2027, says its chief executive officer Li Chunrong.
Since losing its status as the top-selling marque in Malaysia in 2005, Li said sales of Proton even dropped to fourth position last year. However, Proton regained second place in the first half of this year.
Delivering his speech at the Talent Endowment Forum and Fair 2019, Li said the company is looking at making profit as soon as possible.
Li said Proton, which sells 27 models, has recorded accumulated sales of over four million cars sold to 70 countries for the past 36 years.
He said complete-built-up (CBU) cars in Indonesia made up 30 per cent of total car sales, and 100 per cent in Thailand.
Compared to those two countries, Malaysia still has huge room for exporting CBU cars.
Li stressed that in future the automobile industry would have four major trends – online sales by 2025, cars which are automated and operated by smart technology, and the sharing concept.
The negative impact of sharing cars would between five to 10 years see a decline in car sales.
He said when China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group acquired Proton Holdings Bhd to form a new joint-venture company in 2017, the operating team of the company comprised Malaysians, Japanese, Canadians and Chinese.
Compared to the 150,000 staff in China Geely, the Proton team in Malaysia led by him only comprises 10,000 staff.
Li targeted lowering the production cost of Proton cars by 30 per cent.
That target was not reached in 2018 but it would be by next year.
Last year, he managed to reduce logistics costs by 33 per cent, with manufacturing costs lowered too, while the quality of the vehicles was upgraded.
He also said that the company has drawn up the “Big Dipper” strategy and three visions, including product strategy, manufacturing strategy and local production strategy (inviting Chinese and global experts to cooperate).
Li said the company would launch a new car model each year, introduce a new Geely car and upgrade existing Proton models.
In the past, the company has recruited professionals in the automotive, machinery, rubber, glass, electrical and automation industries, but now more than 50 per cent of the recruitment is made to cater for the information technology (IT) industry.
“Products initiate competition in the corporate sector, while talents are behind the products. Proton has staff from 12 countries.
“The biggest problem in the enterprise is how to integrate the corporate cultures of various countries, including Malaysia and China, into one,” he said.
Asked about Proton’s plan to produce electric cars, Li said the joint-venture company has almost all the resources for electric cars, while 90 per cent of China’s Geely products will be new energy products by next year.
Therefore, as long as the Malaysian government unveiled a policy to promote electric cars in its soon to be announced national car policy, the company does not have a problem in technology and products. Sin Chew Daily (Malaysia)