Proton Ready to Take on Honda and Toyota in Southeast Asia

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Proton Ready to Take on Honda and Toyota in Southeast Asia

Li Chunrong was hired by Chinese automaker Geely to revive the fortunes of the Proton brand in Malaysia, and it took him two years to eclipse Japanese giants Honda and Toyota. Now he plans to take the fight across Southeast Asia and beyond.

Li, appointed Proton CEO in 2017 when Geely acquired 49.9% of the company, has turned around a once-celebrated Malaysian marque that had to rely on state aid after a string of losses, with his success built on an aggressive cost-cutting drive.

Now Geely has told the Proton boss to expand across the region, initially focusing on Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei, Li told Reuters - the first time concrete details of the brand’s expansion plans have been disclosed.

Like Malaysia, they are right-hand drive markets so require fewer car modifications. Proton also aims to drive into the Middle East and increase sales to Egypt, said the 56-year-old Chinese national.

Li did not give specific timeframes for expansion into individual markets, but said Proton wanted to raise overseas sales - which stood at about 1,000 cars last year, or 1% of total sales - at least four-fold this year.

The carmaker wants 40% of its sales to come from foreign markets by 2027, he told Reuters in two interviews, identifying Thailand and Indonesia as the key markets but declining to outline his strategy to crack them.

“We have a good foundation,” he said. “We commit that, every year, we will launch a new model.”


Akhyari Hananto

I began my career in the banking industry in 1997, and stayed approx 6 years in it. This industry boost his knowledge about the economic condition in Indonesia, both macro and micro, and how to More understand it. My banking career continued in Yogyakarta when I joined in a program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB),as the coordinator for a program aimed to help improve the quality of learning and teaching process in private universities in Yogyakarta. When the earthquake stroke Yogyakarta, I chose to join an international NGO working in the area of ?disaster response and management, which allows me to help rebuild the city, as well as other disaster-stricken area in Indonesia. I went on to become the coordinator for emergency response in the Asia Pacific region. Then I was assigned for 1 year in Cambodia, as a country coordinator mostly to deliver developmental programs (water and sanitation, education, livelihood). In 2009, he continued his career as a protocol and HR officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, and two years later I joined the Political and Economic Section until now, where i have to deal with extensive range of people and government officials, as well as private and government institution troughout eastern Indonesia. I am the founder and Editor-in-Chief in Good News From Indonesia (GNFI), a growing and influential social media movement, and was selected as one of The Most Influential Netizen 2011 by The Marketeers magazine. I also wrote a book on "Fundamentals of Disaster Management in 2007"?, "Good News From Indonesia : Beragam Prestasi Anak Bangsa di dunia"? which was luanched in August 2013, and "Indonesia Bersyukur"? which is launched in Sept 2013. In 2014, 3 books were released in which i was one of the writer; "Indonesia Pelangi Dunia"?, "Indonesia The Untold Stories"? and "Growing! Meretas Jalan Kejayaan" I give lectures to students in lectures nationwide, sharing on full range of issues, from economy, to diplomacy Less
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