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Malaysia is a spoilt child with three F1 teams

Malaysia with a GDP of USD7000 per capita should apply for the Guinness world record for having three F1 teams in the F1 racing.

– Petronas
– AirAsia
– Proton

No other countries can beat Malaysia for such a crazy involvement in the F1 racing.

Malaysia Boleh ! Boleh to bankruptcy !

Proton’s Lotus F1 gamble

Corporate Portrait – By Eugene Mahalingam

Analysts uncomfortable with the national carmaker’s direction

PETALING JAYA: Proton Holdings Bhd recently made headlines when it announced that its five-year strategy to turn sports car unit Group Lotus plc to profitability could cost up to 480mil (RM2.37bil).

According to a statement by the national car company to Bursa Malaysia last week, the projected capital expenditure (capex) would be financed via internally generated monies and “externally secured” funding which includes the recently-inked sponsorship agreement of Formula One (F1) race team, Renault F1 Team Ltd.

In a nutshell, Proton will be leveraging off Renault F1’s expertise and F1, the pinnacle of motorsports, as a platform to build the Lotus brand.

Such a move is not unprecedented. World renowned car manufacturers such as Ferrari and Mercedes have benefited significantly through F1 – a fact that Proton Holdings Bhd group managing director Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir has attested to.

“If you look at all the other OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) like Ferrari and Mercedes, F1 has a direct impact on their marketing and branding,” he was quoted in a StarBiz report earlier this month.

Ferrari, despite being a car manufacturer, does not resort to conventional advertising methods such as television commercials to create awareness of its brand.

Proton’s subsidiary, Group Lotus plc has bought a major equity stake in the Renault F1 team which will be renamed Lotus Renault GP team from the start of the 2011 Formula season onwards. With the acquisition, Group Lotus will become the title sponsor over the next several years. Picture shows a model of the Lotus Renault GP racing car. — Bernama

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