While there will potentially be no layoffs of workers at Proton after the takeover by DRB-Hicom, heads will no doubt roll in upper management and at board meetings. Earlier today, the Business Times reported on DRB-Hicom’s plans for both the Malaysian auto brand and its British subsidiary, Lotus.
DRB-Hicom to reduce Proton costs and “cancerous” Lotus brand
In some strong statements made by DRB-Hicom, the Malaysian company clarified that there will be no large scale staff retrenchment however to expect changes in the top management. The company’s aim was to make Proton a serious regional player by 2015 and a global brand by 2017. It also expects to improve staff skills by leveraging on its International College of Automotive (ICAM) in Pahang:
“There will be zero lay-off as the immediate focus is on the low-hanging fruits at Proton. The group will trim any excess fat in product planning, consultancy contracts and third-party service providers, among others,” BT sources said.
In addition to its plans for Proton, DRB-Hicom touched on the Lotus brand as well: “If Lotus continues to ride on Proton, it will be cancerous, it will be like a parasite. Hence, it requires a review so that it can stand alone and be successful, perhaps like what Audi is to its parent Volkswagen AG.”