VW Looks To Buy Proton, Union Isn’t Thrilled

Sometimes, enough is enough. The Volkswagen Group has more brands than anyone else in the automotive industry today. Recent acquisitions were completed for Ducati, Scania and Porsche. That is an addition to Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen.

Sound familiar? It reminds us of General Motors at the height of its dominance. There’s the potential for more too – VW has tried to convince Fiat to sell Alfa Romeo for a long time. For years Volkswagen has toyed with a Proton partnership/buyout, as a way to gain market share and sales in Southeast Asia. An obstacle has been Proton’s ownership by the Malaysian government – they desire to see the company stay local.

Recently Malaysian investment firm DRB Hicom purchased a controlling share in Proton (causing Lotus’ future to be in upheaval), and that is impacting the nature of Volkswagen’s interests. VW has an independent history with both Proton and DRB Hicom. In 2010 VW worked a deal with DRB Hicom to assemble Jettas and Passats for local sale. Now, rumors are swirling that VW is interested in purchasing a stake in Proton – possibly even a full purchase, which the Malaysian government will reportedly not approve.

Regardless, it is clear VW has an interest in some kind of tie up with Proton. According to Reuters, one member of Volkswagen’s board is speaking out about any further purchases, saying 12 brands are enough for now. Bernd Osterloh, the union’s representative says that “We already have 12 brands and we first have to stabilise the group….even though further sales and production sites in south-east Asia are important, there is no support from the labour side for a purchase of Proton.” He has a point there. While the union may not support the move though, there are 19 other board members that vote on these decisions. Given sources are saying VW is highly interested in a stake, it probably is more likely one will go through than not.

About The Author

Tony Pimpo is a young automotive journalist who lives in Northern California. He believes the future of the automotive industry will depend in a large part on the recommendation of enthusiasts and Generation Y. More than ever, automakers lately have realized the power of Gen Y. Not only in regards to buying power, but in driving opinion and spreading a brand’s message through the internet and various forms of social media. His appreciation for cars formed at an early age, thanks to his dad, who has always been involved with cars in different ways over the years. Tony has contributed to various websites in his pursuits, and is on staff at GMInsideNews, where he has been writing since the age of 12.

1 Comment on "VW Looks To Buy Proton, Union Isn’t Thrilled"

  1. The malaysian goverment is not going to sell proton because VW has enough brands already and that malaysia is known for it’s OWN car manufacter that is built with good quality and the malaysian goverment is not going to sell it because then it’s going to be a german car but it is a malaysian car so no they malaysian goverment is not going to sell it.

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