First Proton-Geely car to roll out next year?
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.