New CEO has big plans for ailing Proton brand

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A new CEO appointed by Chinese automaker Geely to head the international operations of Malaysian car manufacturer Proton Holdings Bhd as part of a broader management reshuffle on September 29 presented a ten-year plan to revitalise the notoriously loss-making brand.

Li Chun Rong, an automotive executive who had previously worked for major automakers such as Honda, Kia and Dongfeng, said he is confident to turn around Proton’s operations and return to profitability after five years. He also said that it was “time for a tough revamp” to enable Proton to become a “top-three ASEAN brand in the next ten years.”

Li will assume the role of CEO of Proton’s manufacturing unit Perusahaan Otomobil National Sdn Bhd (PONSB) beginning October 1 but will be responsible for the entire operations of the carmaker.

He has been tasked with bolstering Proton’s operations in areas such as product planning, research and development, quality improvement and procurement. He said Geely’s first SUV model will be rolled out in Malaysia by the end of 2018 and that new cars to be designed by Proton will feature high-powered engines with lower oil consumption.

“For example, we will be supplying the latest advanced engine which is the Euro 6 and beyond. As of now, Proton is using Euro 4 engine. We also intend to introduce new hybrid and electric cars to Proton, besides producing normal fuel cars,” he said.

In addition to Li, four other non-Malaysians, three of them automotive experts – including former Volkswagen executive Winfried Vahland – have also been nominated to a seven-member board at the Proton unit.

Geely since this year is holding 49.9 per cent of Proton. The Chinese company also owns Volvo Cars and London Taxi. The other 50.1 per cent of Proton are held by Malaysian industry holding DRB-Hicom.

Syed Faisal, DRB-Hicom Group managing director, remains chairman or Proton Holdings Bhd.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

A new CEO appointed by Chinese automaker Geely to head the international operations of Malaysian car manufacturer Proton Holdings Bhd as part of a broader management reshuffle on September 29 presented a ten-year plan to revitalise the notoriously loss-making brand.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

A new CEO appointed by Chinese automaker Geely to head the international operations of Malaysian car manufacturer Proton Holdings Bhd as part of a broader management reshuffle on September 29 presented a ten-year plan to revitalise the notoriously loss-making brand.

Li Chun Rong, an automotive executive who had previously worked for major automakers such as Honda, Kia and Dongfeng, said he is confident to turn around Proton’s operations and return to profitability after five years. He also said that it was “time for a tough revamp” to enable Proton to become a “top-three ASEAN brand in the next ten years.”

Li will assume the role of CEO of Proton’s manufacturing unit Perusahaan Otomobil National Sdn Bhd (PONSB) beginning October 1 but will be responsible for the entire operations of the carmaker.

He has been tasked with bolstering Proton’s operations in areas such as product planning, research and development, quality improvement and procurement. He said Geely’s first SUV model will be rolled out in Malaysia by the end of 2018 and that new cars to be designed by Proton will feature high-powered engines with lower oil consumption.

“For example, we will be supplying the latest advanced engine which is the Euro 6 and beyond. As of now, Proton is using Euro 4 engine. We also intend to introduce new hybrid and electric cars to Proton, besides producing normal fuel cars,” he said.

In addition to Li, four other non-Malaysians, three of them automotive experts – including former Volkswagen executive Winfried Vahland – have also been nominated to a seven-member board at the Proton unit.

Geely since this year is holding 49.9 per cent of Proton. The Chinese company also owns Volvo Cars and London Taxi. The other 50.1 per cent of Proton are held by Malaysian industry holding DRB-Hicom.

Syed Faisal, DRB-Hicom Group managing director, remains chairman or Proton Holdings Bhd.

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