Lotus Renault GP Makes Historic Visit to Proton
The world-championship-winning Formula One Team of Lotus Renault GP (LRGP) made a historic visit to PROTON headquarters in Shah Alam, giving the F1 team an insight into the Malaysian car manufacturing industry. The LRGP entourage was led by none other than Managing Director and Team Principal Eric Boullier, who was joined by key members of his management team.
Also visiting was Vitaly Petrov, who placed third in the season’s opener at the Australian GP, and also reserve drive Bruno Senna.
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LOTUS RENAULT GP MAKES HISTORIC VISIT TO PROTON
SHAH ALAM, 7 April 2011 – PROTON Holdings Berhad today welcomed the Lotus Renault GP (LRGP) team to its headquarters in Shah Alam, giving the world championship-winning Formula One team an insight into the Malaysian car manufacturing industry and underlining a partnership envisioned to extend beyond the realm of Formula One.
The LRGP entourage was led by its Managing Director and Team Principal Eric Boullier, who was accompanied by key representatives of his senior management team. Joining the visit were the team’s driver Vitaly Petrov – who had given the team’s 2011 Formula One World Championship challenge an early boost with a third placing at the season opener Australian Grand Prix – and reserve driver Bruno Senna.
The visit is a follow-up to an earlier call made by PROTON’s senior management team to the LRGP facility in Enstone in the United Kingdom this year. Also present to represent Group Lotus was its Director of Corporate Affairs Gino Rosato, and Group Lotus Brand Ambassador and decorated ex-Formula One driver Jean Alesi.
The PROTON party, headed by PROTON Holdings Berhad Group Managing Director Dato’ Sri Haji Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir and accompanied by the Group’s senior management team, gave the LRGP team an exclusive tour around PROTON’s Research & Development facilities, and walked the team around the production lines at the Main Plant.
Dato’ Sri Haji Syed Zainal Abidin said that PROTON’s association with LRGP aims to explore mutually and significantly beneficial opportunities, not just as the parent company of Group Lotus, but most importantly, as the Technical Partner to LRGP. “This visit offers the perfect opportunity for PROTON to showcase our capabilities as an automotive manufacturer.
Furthermore, as partners, it is important to be acquainted about each other’s operations, business strategies and plans. This will also give both parties the opportunity to explore how else we can help each other and benefit from one another,” he added. Dato’ Sri Haji Syed Zainal Abidin also announced that a select and elite group of its engineers will soon be joining the LRGP family under an engineer exchange programme designed to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, skills and experience.
“Valuable exposure in a specialized environment and the opportunity to be involved in the development of technologically-advanced performance vehicles will significantly strengthen our engineering and technological capabilities which we would like to see applied and integrated into the future generation of Proton cars.”
This, Dato’ Sri Haji Syed Zainal Abidin cited, is intended to emulate the success of PROTON’s long collaboration with Group Lotus that had enabled the company to leverage on Lotus’s world-acclaimed Ride & Handling technology which is today present in Proton cars and has been pivotal to instilling greater consumer appeal in its products.
PROTON staff was also not left behind in the activity, and were given the opportunity to get up-close and personal with Vitaly Petrov, Bruno Senna and Jean Alesi in a couple of meet-and-greet sessions. Meanwhile, Lotus Renault GP Team Principal Eric Boullier believes PROTON has not only a strong desire and the determination to succeed, but also the right capabilities and infrastructure in place to become a fully competitive operation.
“After seeing the facilities here, I’m really impressed with the advancement PROTON has made after only 25 years.”
“The involvement in F1 has clearly had a strong and positive impact with the handful of car manufacturers that have been involved in the sport since the early fifties. And with Group Lotus’s involvement in F1, I’m certain that PROTON will reap the rewards of this relationship, not least through technical, engineering and marketing opportunities and as a major business platform too.”
Also in conjunction with the visit, Dato’ Sri Haji Syed Zainal Abidin, accompanied by Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna presented prizes to Grand Prize Winners of its Grand Prix VIP Challenge online contest. Winner Abdul Aziz bin A. Wahab. Abdul Aziz, who entered the online contest after servicing his Proton Persona received two Corporate Suite tickets to catch the action live at the Sepang International Circuit on race day.
The PROTON Grand Prix VIP Challenge was held from 16 March to 31 March 2011 across 500 Proton showrooms and service centres nationwide and open to those who test drove Proton cars, registered a newly bought Proton or serviced their existing Proton car.