Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Mergering Blues

As an armchair critic whose opinions doesn’t matter a hoot in the large scheme of the (Malaysian) universe, I am all for the proposed Proton – Perodua merger proposal.

Why in the world would ANYONE protest to such a move is certainly beyond me.

As I got a C in A-Levels Economy, I know enough about economies of scale arguments bla bla, optimization of capacities yada yada advantages of the proposed merger.

BUT, and it is an important BUT mind you, my show of hands to this plan goes more basic.

In its article on the subject, The Edge puts in this line “…concern on whether a merged Proton-Perodua would deprive consumers of better choices in the car market…”.

Kidding, right?

Heck, the merger would do wonders instead to the choice-deprived poor, not-that-rich and so-so-only-rich motorists and motoring enthusiasts in the country.

Imagine if you may what could (would? I am not a clairvoyant…) happen should the merger proceed.

Right now, we only have, what, Protons, Proton-badged Mitsus, Perodua-badged Daihatsus cum, by a long, long stretch, Toyotas in the national makes category.

A marriage – though they are national car makers, the differences in shareholding makes the union non-incestuous in nature – would then allow (sorry, could allow) us to have Proton-badged (a really, really, really long stretch but still possible) Toyotas.

Imagine the pride and joy of driving a duties-subsidised Altis, Alphard, Caldina, Wish or Camry? Of course, their names would be Proton/Perodua-ised, but hey, they will still look the part.

And, in the economies of scale bla bla and optimisation of capacities yada yada point of view, the meger could (ditto) mean sale figures of 437,600 trimmed by, say, 30% from rationalization of models – surely the merger will scrap those in the same category, no? – which will get you figures of around 306,300 cars per year.

That’s easily more than what each company can do individually.

And though a recently received Proton Inspira of a close one’s colleague intermittently leaked rainwater into the boot, the much alleged unreliability of Protons are, as said, alleged.

Who knows, the merger may even bring in the much-said kaizen philosophy into Proton’s makeup and identity. A corporate culture thingy.

Imagine also the pride of seeing wholly national makes-dominated roads and highways – choked right after the tollbooths in Klang Valley as they are – all throughout the country.

Now, doesn’t that makes you want to shed patriotic tears?

Nationalistic fervor doesn’t get any realer than that.

So, how? Anyone keen on Produa (Opps. Seriously needs a rethink here..)

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