Sunday, September 17, 2006

Proton sales in Britain surge 48%

Proton cars are relatively well rated in UK. You could see Parker's review which gave Proton Savyy 3.5 star rating. A significant improvement of Proton image in UK when compares with rating given to Wira, Satria and even Gen 2 models. Sales increased from 1,148 to 1,702 units. This number would not help turns the company around, but it certainly marks a successful marketing effort in UK.

Proton is also making presense in Singapore, Indonesia, Saudi, Australia, Thailand and planning to extend to China, India and Iran. I hope Proton would do well in these countries.

Proton want to improve product. Besides Satris Neo and Savvy that was released few months ago, Proton tied up with Mitsubishi to design 2 new models and plan to release by mid-2007. There were also talks with Chery and Peugeot Citroen for more partnership but no details are reported.

Proton sales last year was 550k units and making losses. This is probably due to extra production capacity in the manufacturing plants. The profit margin of Proton is not published.

There is an interesting article from Economicst that compares production (in units) and profit margins of Global automobiles maker. GM has the highest production but the lowest profit margin. Toyota on the other ranked 3rd in production but highest in profit margin of almost 10%. The number that made GM biggest automobile maker is the combine production of 15 different brands such as Saab, Daewoo, Isuzu, Subaru and Suzuki. Toyota on the other hand has streamline its products, reduce production cost, use common parts and hence having higher profit margins.

I personally profit margin is more important than volume as it gets multiplied volume. For example if a company has negative profit margin, more car sold is actually translated into more losses. It is the fundamental for manufacturing business to continuously improve profit margin.