Datuk Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir, the Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry has called on national car maker Proton Group to penetrate into the India market saying that if they are able to do so, then they would be able to penetrate any foreign markets. To do that, he said that Proton would need to improve on their product quality and to make more affordable cars in order to create its brand in the market.
He said that the India market is huge and is very competitive as Proton would need to compete against the likes of the local auto makers which are making affordable vehicles like Tata. He also suggested that Proton could perhaps start with launching a small number of cars there and to look to partner with a local automotive company like that which was done by Suzuki and Toyota.
Mukhriz was echoing the call by his father, the former prime minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Protno to consider investing into India and to leverage on its low cost production market. Mahathir had said recently that the automobile sector in India has been attracting various world class brands who are looking to capitalize on the demand there for foreign cars which are affordable and cheap. The passenger vehicles segment for 2010 from April to August in the market saw a promising increase of 33.88% as compared to 2009.
In the global market, India is the sev
enth largest in the world in terms of production of passenger and commercial vehicles where they rolled out some 2.6 million units in 2009 and is also the fourth largest exporter of passenger cars in Asia. The top exporter from Asia are Japan, South Korea and Thailand with India following suit. Mahathir said that Proton, of which he is the advisor is currently restructuring its positioning
and would be looking to invest into India after some failed attempts in the past few years.