Monday, June 14, 2010

Frost & Sullivan Awards Proton for Not Just Car Quality

Proton's Exora and new Saga were awarded Best Automotive Debut Model of the Year and Best Passenger Model of the Year, respectively, by Frost & Sullivan at the 2010 Malaysia Excellence Awards held on 12 May 2010. Proton's communications team quickly spun it as acknowledgment of Proton car quality.

So, if Protons are so good, why does the national car company still require market protection? What's amiss here?

Well, if you go to the Frost & Sullivan media release webpage, you'll see that the award is not really about car quality. The 2010 Frost & Sullivan Malaysia Excellence Awards are based on a variety of actual market performance indicators, which include revenue growth; market share and growth in market share; leadership in product innovation; marketing strategy and business development strategy. If product quality is a component, it really is not the only one.

Plus, the award is given to Malaysian companies only. If it were open to international companies like VW, Toyota, Honda, etc, one seriously doubts that Proton would have received the Frost & Sullivan Excellence Awards.

As much as I'd like to be patriotic about Proton, I can't help but think, again and again, that Malaysians are being taken for a ride. With such paltry returns, relative to other government link corporations, of RM285 million before taxation for FY2010, one can't help but ask, "Is Proton really maximising shareholder value by existing the way it does today?"

Without market protection, Proton is not competitive. This comes with a second whammy, in that with market protection, Proton can continue to be complacent and inefficient in managing product quality and its supply chain, the two key factors that are causing it to be uncompetitive in the first place.
So, now we wait for something bad to happen to Proton before something good comes out of this Proton debacle.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Proton Profits Up Due to Sustained Market Protectionism

I'll believe it when I see it - Proton succeeding purely on merit, not market protectionism. Right now, Proton's profit before tax of RM285 million for the financial year 2010 ended March 31 is nothing more than the result of being "jaguh kampung".

Bring in the big players in the industry onto a level playing field with Proton, and the latter is toast.

How much longer should Malaysians molly coddle Proton? Another 25 years?

Meanwhile, Malaysians are forced to settle for substandard quality in national cars like Protons because that's all that most of us can afford anyway. In truth, we deserve better.

For as long as Proton does not improve upon its supply chain and quality control management, to the point where it can compete on an equal footing with leading car makers of the world, Malaysians far and wide would have to bear with national cars that are "jaguh kampung" - over priced and low in quality.

Enough already!

Contracted H1N1 and Lived

It might not be as big a deal as dengue for some. For me, H1N1 was the closest I've come to death by disease.

Whilst I live, this slow killer has left me with a little gift - bronchitis. Never have I needed an inhaler, till now.
My singing voice is partly gone - I still can't get my falsetto back, although I can reach my usual high pitches.
And I stopped blogging for over a month - when you're easily tired because your lungs feels tight, you don't feel like hunkering over a keyboard at home after hunkering over one for several hours at work.
Well, I'm almost fully recovered - I'll know for sure when I can sing in falsetto again. Meanwhile, I'll just stick to singing at lower octaves.