KUALA LUMPUR, September, "PEDA called on the government to put a stop on any negotiation and/or speculation on any attempt to take over Proton. Further speculation on take-over will destroy all the effort and initiative to revive Proton's goodwill, brandname and dealer's viability." Said Armin Baniaz Pahamin, Acting President PEDA.

Proton eco-system had suffered enough from various past speculation. The rumours on Proton take-over attempt has been rife on various blogs and local media by two giant corporation namely a collaboration between Yasmin Holdings and Naza Holdings led by Proton pioneer Dato Kisai Rahmat and the Al Bukhary group to buy majority Proton stakes from Khazanah.

The collaboration led by Kisai Rahmat to take over Proton was said to salvage the goodname of Proton from deteriorating further into industrial abyss. According to the source, the take-over attempt was necessary to replace the current incompetent management with the right people.

"PEDA vehemently object the move by Dato Kisai, Al Bukhary group or any other attempt to take-over Proton", said Armin Baniaz. The network is concern with any speculation that will affect and demoralise the dealers and vendors network that is currently slowly recovering from the recession and Proton sales downturn. The speculation will also affect Proton car sales when potential buyer "wait-and-see" for price revision or any new models expected from the new owners. Proton share price had also reacted to the speculation with an increase of more than 5.12% today.

Prior to the current management, Proton eco system suffered from alarming ex-stocks of more than 40,000 units that was not sellable due to the public's lost of confident in Proton, Proton car poor quality, lack of new model being introduced and the speculation of new buyer of Proton. Since then:

1. The 40,000 unsold stock was successfully reduced to the current manageable stock level despite the recession and automotive sales downturn.

2. Proton dealer's average sale has improved under the current management from less than 20 cars monthly sales average per dealer when Dato Syed Zainal took over Proton to currently more than 40 cars monthly sales average per dealer.

3. Proton market share from total industry volume had also improved from only 24% in 2006 and 2007, to 26% in 2008 and 30% YTD in 2009. Proton's forecast which is on track and a common goal shared by the dealer's network was to acquire 35% market share within 3 years.

4. Under the new management, 4 new model was successfully launched namely, Proton NEO (2006), Proton Persona (2007), Proton Saga (2008) and Proton Exora (2009). There were also various face-lift and upgraded version of existing models being launched to excite the market. Proton is also expected to launch the Perdana and Waja replacement in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

5. New Proton car quality had also improved from 4 highlighted concerns per car by customer (Concern-Per-Car or "CPC") during their car servicing to currently only 0.31 highlighted concerns. All concerns highlighted by customer via the dealers sales and service network are forwarded directly to Proton.

6. Proton does not need any new shareholders but a strategic alliance with a foreign partner that may provide better economies of scale in production cost and expand Proton market share abroad will be viable for Proton future planning. However, speculations, rumours or any attempt for take-over without any economic benefits to Proton network is damaging towards the network's recovery especially with the current rationalisation of the dealers network.

7. The government must stop further negotiation or any speculation for a take over and allow Proton, the dealers network and vendors to recover from the downturn via the continuation of current adopted policies.

8. It does not make sense to allow any group or giant corporation to take over Proton that is improving and on track with its KPI but it does make more sense for the current management to MBO Proton and stop further future speculation whilst steering Proton into becoming the number one national car maker.

Sent via BlackBerry from Maxis