Proton to enter into strategic foreign partnership
NATIONAL car maker Proton is expected to enter into a strategic partnership agreement with an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) on March 31 next year.
Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said Proton would do an in-depth evaluation of two or three companies shortlisted to pick the best foreign partner.
“This will help spur Proton’s research and development, enabling it to become a viable and competitive car maker at the international level,” he said.
Ahmad said Proton began looking for a potential strategic partner in June by sending out requests for proposals to 14 OEMs.
Earlier, while responding to a supplementary question by Che Rosli Che Mat (PAS-Hulu Langat), Ahmad said Proton cars have not been able to attract a high local market as compared to Perodua cars because they do not have the Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) feature in its models.
Ahmad explained that this is because Proton does not have a foreign partner to produce EEVs at a lower cost.
“I think the main reason is because Perodua cars are EEV models and have become the choice of users.
“It is not easy to have this EEV feature. Proton still has not manufactured car models with EEV,” he said.
Che Rosli had asked the reason for a huge disparity in the sales volumes between Proton and Perodua.
Ahmad said the rebranding and research and development process can cost up to RM1 billion.