AUGUST 19, 2000
Yamaha and Petronas
THE news from Japan that the Yamaha Motor Company is to produce a small capacity engine for the Petronas-owned Proton car company in Malaysia could have interesting implications in Formula 1. Both Yamaha and Petronas have ambitions in Formula 1 which have yet to be fully developed. Petronas has been buying Ferrari engines for the last four years but without any notable success, while Yamaha had a long but ultimately unsuccessful involvement in the sport which ended in 1998. Both companies have been linked to the Asia Motor Technologies consortium but to date it seems they are only considering an involvement.
Proton boss Tan Sri Tengku Mahaleel Tengku Ariff said recently that the company's future is as a supplier of engineering skills rather than as a car company which is line with Yamaha's philosophy. Yamaha supplies its engine technology to industry giants Toyota and Ford. The Yamaha agreement will provide a third source of engine technology for the Proton-Petronas, joining the existing relationships with Sauber and with Lotus.