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Discussion Starter #1
http://wardsauto.com/ar/auto_vw_proton_probe/

Volkswagen AG reportedly is in talks with Malaysian state-controlled Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Bhd (Proton) to form a strategic alliance.

Such a move would provide VW a foothold into the Southeast Asian markets, while reducing Proton’s dependence on the government.

Proton, which currently holds a 50% share of Malaysia’s domestic market, has been looking to partner with a foreign auto maker to secure cutting-edge technology to face global challenges. (See related story: New Prime Minister Has Ambitious Plans for Malaysian Auto Industry)

Reports say it is not clear whether the prospective deal would include VW taking an equity stake in Proton, which would give the German auto maker access to Proton’s production capacity. Such a scenario would allow VW to take advantage of the region’s 10-member free-trade agreement.

Earlier reports have said Proton also was in talks with unnamed South Korean auto makers.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
01-10-2004: Proton shares up on report of JV with Volkswagen
By Joseph Chin


Proton Holdings Bhd rose as much as 3% or 25 sen in mid-morning trade on Oct 1 on news reports that it was in talks with Volkswagen AG for a partnership.

Proton opened at RM8.25, of five sen above yesterday's closing price of RM8.20. Within the two hours of trade, there were 122,500 shares done at prices ranging from RM8.25 to RM8.45.
 

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VW Portfolio

It's not like VW doesn't play the game...they have quite a portfolio ...VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat, Rolls Royce, Europcar, Bentley, Lamborghini, Bugatti to name a few.

I'm sure some subset of their brands fit into an expanded market.
 

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There is an article in today's WSJ about this, they pointed out the SE Asia connection for VW.
 

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VW has been pretty weak in Asia. They once had a pretty good hold in China but that is fading.

VW's CEO is on record saying that the Elise is one of his favorite cars to take on a mountain road. The guy is an enthusiast. I think the have infused Lambo with some needed help, maybe they can help Lotus as well?
 

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I hope this doesn't mean that the new Lotus cars will be underpowered and overly heavy like all of the VW audi cars. I can see it now, the infamous 1.8t in the next Lotus. While it can be tuned for 280 hp, the 6600 redline was a little dissapointing compared to our 8600 we currently have.

If not the 1.8t, we could get the R32, boo.
 

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babak said:
There is an article in today's WSJ about this, they pointed out the SE Asia connection for VW.
I think you will that he is VW's former CEO. He should have first hand experience, because his daughter drives an Elise.
 

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VW has done wonders for Lambo and I could see them using Lotus ofr technology in lowering the weight of their cars. The Audi A8 is a great car but the weight savings from the aluminum structure is off set in other areas and the technology they use in the aluminum assembly is 2 generations behind what Lotus uses on the Elise and consulted with Jag and Aston Martin on. The Roadster concept could be a nice lower market sister car for the next Elise. The way I look at it is that it isn't Ford but hey, at least it's not GM. And either way, deeper products mean improvement in the brand.
 

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shinoo said:
VW has been pretty weak in Asia. They once had a pretty good hold in China but that is fading.

VW's CEO is on record saying that the Elise is one of his favorite cars to take on a mountain road. The guy is an enthusiast. I think the have infused Lambo with some needed help, maybe they can help Lotus as well?
I dunno about that. There's a crap load of VW's in China. They might even have more VW's than those funny three-wheeled trike-trucks with a lawnmower enginer on the front spoke!
 

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VW feels so strong about current sales
and future ones in China that they are
investing $7 billion there. I believe GM is
only in for $1 billion with regard to their
hoped for expansion of future sales in China. They (the U.S.) would like to build
engines and trannys there, hurting jobs here even more in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Proton and VW enter 'strategic' pact
By Khoo Hsu Chuang Bloomberg News Thursday, October 28, 2004
KUALA LUMPUR Proton Holdings, Malaysia's biggest carmaker, said Wednesday that it had agreed with Volkswagen to make and sell its cars, a move that may lead to technology sharing and the joint development of new models.
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Proton said it entered into a "long-term strategic partnership" with the Volkswagen and that it would make cars for Europe's largest automaker for sale in Malaysia and overseas.
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Proton has sought an overseas partner since the end of a 21-year alliance with Mitsubishi Motors. The latest agreement may help Proton lift its dwindling share of the local car market as competition from overseas rivals, including General Motors, mounts. Volkswagen may also use the accord to build market share in Southeast Asia, where Japanese carmakers like Toyota dominate.
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"It's a start," said Yong Yit Hin, chief investment officer at Alliance Capital Asset Management. "Getting a new technical partner is positive, but the financial impact, I think, is insignificant at this point in time."
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The agreement gives Proton access to Volkswagen's engines and other components, and Volkswagen will study ways to use Proton's technical expertise and facilities, said Proton, which is controlled by the Malaysian government.
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The accord may lead to joint design and development of car models, it added. The German carmaker will also "develop a comprehensive program to enhance quality production in Proton's plants."
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Proton will assemble two Volkswagen models for Malaysia's car market by the end of next year and is forecast to sell 15,000 cars by 2006, the German automaker said in a separate statement to the Frankfurt stock exchange Tuesday. Volkswagen does not plan to buy a stake in Proton, it said.
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"Proton may get a short-term boost in earnings from manufacturing and distribution," said Edward Ong, an analyst in Kuala Lumpur for Macquarie Bank. "But it's hard to say if this could be a precursor to a deeper, equity-based agreement."
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Proton shares closed in Kuala Lumpur Wednesday at 8.50 ringgit, about $2.24, a gain of 15 Malaysian cents.
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Proton was set up in 1983 by the Malaysian government with help from Mitsubishi Motors, Japan's fifth-largest carmaker, which sold its 7.9 percent stake in March. Mitsubishi Corp., Japan's largest trading company, owns 7.9 percent of the Malaysian carmaker.
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Proton's share of the domestic passenger car market fell to 45 percent in 2003, from 73 percent in 2000.
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Proton owns 80 percent of Lotus Group International, the British sports car manufacturer, which it bought eight years ago to lift its engineering and design capabilities. Proton also has a controlling stake in Agusta, the Italian motorcycle maker, which makes the MV Agusta, Cagiva and Husqvarna brands of motorcycles.
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Tie-up bodes well for Proton and VW

BY SIDEK KAMISO
PROTON Holdings Bhd may be hitting the right note with investors in securing a strategic partnership with German carmaker Volkswagen AG.

Observers said the venture could be a start for Volkswagen and the national carmaker to capture a bigger slice of the national and regional car markets in view of the increasing competition arising from the advent of the Asean Free Trade Area (Afta).

“As its market share is falling, this deal makes sense for Proton as it strengthens the Proton brand locally and helps it venture abroad,” said the head of research at a local brokerage, who pointed out that Volkwagen was a strong brand in Europe and the partnership could give the national carmaker the much needed boost in the regional market.

He said, however, that the deal would not have an immediate financial impact on the car maker.

Yesterday, Proton announced that it had entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Volkswagen AG to establish a long-term partnership which would allow each party to exploit the strengths of the other in four main areas.

The MoU involves not only the exchange of expertise but also Proton manufacturing select Volkswagen cars for the local and export markets. Proton would also eventually be the local distributor for the German cars.

Volkswagen plans to produce 15,000 cars with Proton by 2006.

Investors reacted positively to the deal. Proton shares gained as much as 20 sen on the announcement before retreating to RM8.50 for a 15 sen gain on volume of 64,000 shares.

Sentiments have also turned positive on Proton since Proton adviser Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced that Proton was open to signing deals with foreign parties.

“This is a good sign as Proton moves into the next phase of its expansion plan, particularly in the region,” said the head of research.

Proton is already making its way into Indonesia and plans to enter other Asean markets such as Thailand, which is currently dominated by American car makers such as General Motors and Ford.

A significant feature of the MoU is the arrangement giving Proton access to Volkswagen engines and other components, and support in adapting engines and gearboxes to an optimum fit into Proton cars.

Analysts said the deal would utilise Proton's excess capacity at its new production facility in Tanjong Malim, which was designed to produce at least a million cars annually.

At the same time, the deal would pave the way for Proton and Volkswagen to enter the regional market.

“It is a positive association. I am sure both parties will benefit from the deal,” said a fund manager with a local brokerage, who added that both Proton and Volkswagen planned to expand in the region in view of the opening up of the automobile market from next year under Afta.

Despite the obvious benefits to both parties, some analysts have reservations over the MoU, mainly because it is still at the preliminary stages and is unlikely to lead to Volkswagen into taking up a substantial stake in Proton.

“It is not a done deal and it's too early to assess its financial impact on Proton,” said an industry analyst at Mayban Securities, which already has a “buy” call for Proton.

The “no stake” deal, which was emphasised by Volkswagen in its website, suggested that the two parties would have a long way to go before working together as partners.

“I take it that Volkswagen may want to use Proton's excess capacity at this stage,” a motor industry analyst with a local brokerage said, adding that Proton's rapid plant expansion recently could result in excess capacity.
 

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The release does talk about VW engines in Proton products so could we be looking at the first step toward a 1.8T Elise and a VR6 powered mid range car? Well I have to say of all the "partners" in the auto world, VW probably is the best.
 

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I dunno about that. There's a crap load of VW's in China. They might even have more VW's than those funny three-wheeled trike-trucks with a lawnmower enginer on the front spoke!
I was in China 3 years ago and it seem to me that VW was the dominate brand there. It seemed that the majority of the taxis there were VWs. I believe that China is VW's biggest market outside of Europe (Yes bigger than the USA).
 

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