Monday, 29 May 2017
IPOH: The decision by Proton to embark on a partnership with China’s Zheijiang Geely Automotive Co Ltd is timely because cars are predicted to be next in line to undergo sweeping innovations.
International Trade and Industry Minister II Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said that in light of Industrial Revolution 4.0, bringing in Geely as Proton’s strategic partner would ensure the Malaysian company’s survival as cars increasingly adopt digital technology.
Industrial Revolution 4.0, or Industry 4.0, is the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies which include cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things and cloud computing.
“After attending the Hannover Messe, the world’s biggest trade fair for industrial technology, I learned that self-driving cars are the next big thing. This means that you are looking at a future where cars will have no steering wheel. With just the touch of a panel, the car will bring you to your destination,” Ong said after witnessing the swearing-in of the new committee of the Perak Chinese Cemeteries Management Association yesterday.
He said Geely would be Proton’s channel to embracing technological innovations.
“I’m not saying to expect Proton to be a frontliner in this, but at least with a strategic partner it can move along with the times,” he added.
He said Geely would also open a new market for Proton, which was important for the national carmaker’s survival. It was not a decision made purely in favour of China.
“Over the years, it’s been no secret that Proton accumulated losses and will need a big market to cater to in order to settle all the debts. This is the reality. Proton only narrowly met its sales target of 580,000 units last year, while Chinese brands sold 28 million units,” he said.
In view of its small volume, Ong said it would be difficult for Proton to fund sophisticated research and development initiatives.
“We need a larger market for things to work out. The Industrial Revolution 4.0 is all about innovation. We can’t do it ourselves, which is why working with advanced nations is our best bet,” he added.
Source by: Internet