Friday, 1 October 2010

Proton VS AirAsia

Tentu ada diantara kita yang masih tertanya-tanya apa sebenarnya yang berlaku antara Proton bersama-sama Group Lotus dan Tony Fernandes yang baru saja menubuhkan Team Lotus. Pertikaian antara Proton-Group Lotus dan Tony Fernandes-Team Lotus nampaknya begitu serius sekali sehingga kemuncaknya perbalahan itu telah dibawa sehingga ke peringkat mahkamah. Tony Fernandes dan Team Lotus Ventures Ltd telah memfailkan tuntutan di Mahkamah Tinggi British untuk mendapatkan hak penggunaan nama Lotus dan semua yang berkaitan dengan Formula Satu.

Sebelum itu Proton telah mengeluarkan kenyataan bahawa Tony Fernandes serta Team Lotus tidak berhak menggunakan sebarang jenama Lotus dalam apa-apa urusan mereka selepas ini, terutama sekali penggunaan nama Lotus dalam sukan Formula 1 melalui Team Lotus yang ditubuhkan oleh Tony Fernandes dan rakan-rakan perniagaannya. Arahan dari Proton tersebut dapat difahami kerana Lotus adalah hak mutlak Proton dan pihak-pihak lain tidak mempunyai sebarang hak untuk menggunakan jenama Proton tanpa sebarang kebenaran. Namun Tony dan Team Lotus mempunyai alasan tersendiri mengapa mereka masih berhak menggunakan jenama Lotus dan kini mereka mahu Mahkamah Tinggi British yang membuat keputusan.
Situasi yang kurang baik seperti ini nampaknya tidak memberikan impak yang baik kepada kedua-dua pihak, apatah lagi kedua-duanya adalah syarikat dari Malaysia yang mempunyai tujuan yang sama iaitu mengangkat nama Malaysia di persada dunia melalui sukan Formula 1. Secara peribadi saya berpendapat Proton dan Tony serta Team Lotus perlu duduk berbincang dan mencapai persetujuan di luar mahkamah bagi menamatkan perbalahan yang timbul. Dalam situasi seperti ini saya mengambil keputusan untuk menyokong tindakan Proton dan buat Tony, anda patut lebih menghormati Proton sebelum membuat keputusan berkenaan jenama Lotus. Hakikat yang tidak dapat disembunyikan dan seluruh dunia sedia maklum, hanya ada satu Lotus. Dan ianya adalah milik Group Lotus, anak syarikat Proton.

Kesilapan Tony ialah apabila beliau membuat keputusan menubuhkan Team Lotus setelah membeli jenama tersebut dari pemilik asal David Hunt, tanpa merujuk terlebih dahulu kepada Proton dan Group Lotus. Atau mungkin ini caranya Tony dan rakan-rakannya berurusan kerana mereka sedari awal mengetahui keputusan mereka itu tidak mungkin akan mendapat restu dari Proton. Mungkin juga Tony dan Team Lotus telah bersedia dari segi undang-undang untuk merampas jenama Lotus dalam sukan Formula 1 dari Proton dan Group Lotus. Saya rasa pemikiran seorang ‘bussines man’ tentu berlainan daripada orang biasa, dan dengan wang yang banyak, kebanyakan ‘matlamat boleh menghalalkan cara’.

Walau bagaimanapun saya mengharapkan Team Lotus dapat beraksi dalam Formula 1 pada tahun hadapan, tetapi ianya hanya akan berlaku sama ada dengan kebenaran Proton atau keputusan Mahkamah Tinggi British yang memberikan kemenangan kepada Tony dan Team Lotus. Adalah lebih bijak jika Tony membuka ruang kepada Proton untuk memiliki kepentingan di dalam Team LotusVentures Ltd sekurang-kurangnya 51 peratus. Tetapi taikun perniagaan bergelar jutawan seperti Tony dan rakan-rakannya dari Kumpulan Tune dan kumpulan Naza yang diwakili oleh SM Nasarudin sudah tentu tidak rela Team Lotus dikuasai oleh Proton. Sekarang biarlah Mahkamah Tinggi British yang membuat keputusan. Saya yakin Proton dan Group Lotus akan memenangi pertikaian tersebut.

Berikut ialah kenyataan rasmi dari Proton berkenaan penamatan hak penggunaan jenama Lotus terhadap Tony Fernandes dan Team Lotus Ventures Ltd;
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PROTON’S CLARIFICATION ON THE PURCHASE OF “LOTUS” BRAND BY TONY FERNANDES
Kuala Lumpur, 27 September 2010 – There is and always has been only one Lotus, the Lotus started by Colin Chapman. From the beginning Lotus made road cars and raced racing cars. Until 1994, Group Lotus, the road car manufacturer and Team Lotus, which operated the Formula 1 team, were in common ownership with common directors. In 1994, Team Lotus failed and Lotus has not raced since. Since 1994, David Hunt has claimed to have acquired assets of Team Lotus, including its name, from the liquidator. He has never raced as Lotus. Mr. Hunt’s attempt to acquire the name Team Lotus was ineffective. Group Lotus is the owner of all rights in the “Lotus” automotive brand including those relating to Formula 1.
Last year, Tony Fernandes and 1 Malaysia Racing Team recognised this by taking a licence from Group Lotus to use the “Lotus” brand for the “Lotus Racing” team in the current Formula 1 season. With PROTON’s agreement, Group Lotus has now terminated its licence to 1 Malaysia Racing Team to use the “Lotus Racing” brand in the 2011 and future Formula 1 seasons as a result of the flagrant and persistent breaches of the licence by 1 Malaysia Racing Team, which were damaging to the “Lotus” brand.
Following that termination, neither 1 Malaysia Racing Team, nor any other company associated with Mr. Fernandes such as Tune Group Sdn Bhd or Team Lotus Ventures Limited, has the authority of Group Lotus to use any “Lotus” brand in the 2011 Formula 1 season. This includes the use of the brand “Team Lotus”.
Group Lotus understands that Mr. Fernandes intends to rebrand the current “Lotus Racing” Formula 1 team to “Team Lotus” for the 2011 Formula 1 season. Mr. Fernandes indicates that Tune Group has acquired the rights to the name “Team Lotus” from a business formerly owned by David Hunt called Team Lotus Ventures Limited. Group Lotus believes these rights to have no proper legal foundation, a fact of which Mr. Fernandes was well aware when his company purchased them.
PROTON will support Group Lotus in taking all necessary steps to protect its rights in the “Lotus” name, including resisting any attempts by Mr. Fernandes or his companies, or any other unauthorised person, to use the “Lotus” name in the 2011 Formula 1 season.
Dato’ Sri Mohd. Nadzmi Mohd. Salleh, Chairman of PROTON Holdings Berhad and Group Lotus commented, “We believe the Lotus brand to be one of the most valuable brands in Formula 1 today. We are the owners of this brand, and will take all necessary steps to protect it. Tony Fernandes has no rights to use the Lotus brand in the 2011 Formula 1 season, and we will strongly resist any attempts by him to use our brand without our permission and will withdraw our sponsorship of the Lotus Racing team.”
“To put it simply, Group Lotus is everything Lotus. The fact that 1 Malaysia Racing Team entered into an agreement with Group Lotus to use the brand means that both Mr. Fernandes and 1 Malaysia Racing Team recognises and acknowledges Group Lotus’ rights,” he added.

About PROTON
PROTON, established in 1983, is Malaysia’s largest manufacturer of automobiles, and the only full-fledged OEM car manufacturer in South-East Asia. With operations in key markets from UK to the Middle East, and across South-East Asia and Australasia, especially in countries like China and Iran, PROTON produces cars to suit a range of consumer demands and preferences.
Its offerings include versatile and reliable four-door family vehicles, two-door hatchbacks for the young-at-heart, luxurious and stylish executive sedans, spacious and affordable multi-purpose vehicles, as well as the world-renowned sports cars from Lotus. Most importantly, PROTON models are now developed with Lotus Engineering, offering customers superior ride and handling experience in every drive.
PROTON’s inception as a key driver of national development has seen the brand accelerate its learning curve through technology transfer with strategic partnerships and technical collaborations. By listening to the needs of customers, PROTON cars are now steadily on track to achieve the mission for the future, with PROTON set to become a marque which builds cars with passion and soul; cars that are a delight to drive – and a pleasure to own.

About Lotus
Group Lotus is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PROTON Holdings Berhad. The main operating subsidiary of Group Lotus plc is Lotus Cars Limited, which has two operating divisions – Lotus Engineering and Lotus Cars. Lotus Engineering is an internationally recognised automotive engineering consultancy based in Norfolk, UK. Global facilities include those in Michigan (USA), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), China and offices in Germany.
Lotus Engineering provides comprehensive and versatile consultancy services to many of the world’s OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, offering a full engineering service from initial concept and project design through development and integration of the complete vehicle to meet all worldwide markets and customers to full production. This includes third party ‘niche vehicle’ engineering and manufacture worldwide.
Lotus Cars builds world class, prestige, high performance sports cars for sale in 37 countries. These include the iconic Lotus Elise, and the Exige and Europa. Lotus’ latest model, the Lotus Evora, goes on sale from Spring 2009. Lotus is a global high-tech company, expanding rapidly and committed to driving forward technology for both Lotus Cars and its Engineering clients, spearheading research into such areas as hybrids, electric cars and renewable fuels.
SRi:Lotus  Racing tahun depan lebih jantan dengan enjin Renault dan sistem hidraulik Red Bull.

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