Proton hasn’t fared too well in the automotive landscape, even in its home market of Malaysia. Volkswagen once tried to acquire the company back in 2010 but was unsuccessful. It is now 2012 and the German automaker is trying its hand again.
Having Proton under its very large umbrella would help the VW Group gain a foothold in the promising Southeast Asia market. According to two unnamed sources, it may either be looking to buy a minority stake or a controlling stake in the Malaysian automaker. A full buyout is also a possibility in the long-run.
The move for Proton underlies the world’s third largest automotive group’s (certainly tired of seeing GM and Toyota at the top) blatant push for world dominance. The previous attempt at acquiring the then state-owned Proton failed partly because of the country’s former Prime Minister’s desire to keep the company in Malaysian hands.
Currently, 57.3 percent of Proton’s shares are held by Malaysia’s state investment arm Khazanah and the remaining 42.7 percent, which was aquired for $411.9 million, by DRB-HICOM. Volkswagen and DRB-HICOM currently have a partnership in place that has the latter assemble the Passat sedan at one of its plants.
Reference: Automotive News