First Pro­ton-Geely car to roll out next year?

New Straits Times - - Business / News -

SER­DANG: The maiden ve­hi­cle from Pro­ton Hold­ings Bhd’s strate­gic al­liance with Chi­nese car­maker Zhe­jiang Geely Hold­ings Group is ex­pected to hit lo­cal roads next year or early 2019.

The ve­hi­cle will be based on the Geely Boyue sport util­ity ve­hi­cle (SUV).

Sec­ond In­ter­na­tional Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said the two car­mak­ers were fine-tun­ing the pro­duc­tion line for the new ve­hi­cle at Pro­ton’s plant in Tanjung Malim, Perak.

He said Geely was ac­tively en­gaged in au­to­mo­tive tech­nol­ogy trans­fer to its lo­cal part­ner, as agreed upon in the strate­gic part­ner­ship signed in June.

“As early as next year or early 2019, the pro­duc­tion of the new car will be­gin, us­ing Geely’s tech­nol­ogy,” said Ong af­ter an en­gage­ment ses­sion at Univer­siti Pu­tra Malaysia, here, yes­ter­day.

The Boyue SUV was first pre­viewed in Malaysia dur­ing the sign­ing be­tween Pro­ton’s par­ent, DRB-HI­COM Bhd, and Geely for the lat­ter to take up a 49.9 per cent stake in the na­tional car­maker.

Ong said the gov­ern­ment hoped the al­liance would help Pro­ton to raise the ex­ports of its cars sig­nif­i­cantly.

On Sun­day, Ong was re­ported as say­ing the gov­ern­ment was tar­get­ing a pro­duc­tion of about 280,000 cars from the part­ner­ship. A big por­tion of the out­put will be for the China and Southeast Asian mar­kets.

Pro­ton needed a strate­gic part­ner as re­search and world-class de­sign was very im­por­tant to com­pete on the in­ter­na­tional stage, said Ong.

He said the au­to­mo­tive mar­ket in Malaysia was small, with last year’s sales of var­i­ous brands at 580,000 units com­pared with China’s 28 mil­lion units.

“Geely, to­gether with Pro­ton, will build a plant here in the next five years. The cars will en­ter Chi­nese and Southeast Asian mar­kets,” he added.

The Geely Boyue sport util­ity ve­hi­cle (SUV) be­ing un­veiled dur­ing the sign­ing of the strate­gic part­ner­ship in June be­tween Pro­ton Hold­ings Bhd’s par­ent, DRB-HI­COM Bhd, and Chi­nese car­maker Zhe­jiang Geely Hold­ings Group. The first Pro­ton-Geely car will be based on the Boyue SUV.

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