Proton to assemble X70 locally after completion of plant expansion

Dr Mahathir is seen behind the wheel of the Proton X70. — Picture via Facebook/TunDrMahathir
Dr Mahathir is seen behind the wheel of the Proton X70. — Picture via Facebook/TunDrMahathir

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 — Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sdn Bhd (Proton) expects to roll out the completely knocked down unit of its latest X70 sport utility vehicle (SUV) model after the completion of its Tanjung Malim plant expansion.

Deputy Chief Executive Officer Datuk Radzaif Mohamed said the RM1.4 billion expansion exercise was scheduled to be completed by the fourth quarter of next year, which would increase the plant’s production capacity to 250,000 cars per annum from 150,000 units currently.

“We are getting the plant ready before we can assemble the Proton X70 there. The expansion will include new construction specifically to assemble the new model.

“The (expansion) plant must comply with Geely requirements, in terms of automation and quality, and that’s the reason (as to why) the expansion takes more time than usual,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the Kuala Lumpur International Automotive Conference 2018 (KLIAC 18) here, today.

To date, he said that the pre-booking for Proton X70, which will be officially launched in December this year, had exceeded 12,000 units.

Radzaif said that the latest Proton model would complement the government’s aspiration of moving into the Industry 4.0 revolution, in terms of having the numbers of automation and artificial intelligent features.

He said some features in the new model could be controlled by a smartphone, including locking and unlocking the car, pulling up the windows, as well as checking the tyre pressure and locating the car’s whereabouts.

Once the car model is locally assembled, Proton is targeting to have up to 70 per cent local components installed in every unit.

Themed “Beyond Mobility: Moving Sustainably”, the two-day conference is a platform where industry experts and leading players convene to exchange views concerning the industry and ecosystem roadmap beyond 2025.

The conference was organised by the Malaysian Automotive Association to coincide with the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show (KLIMS) 2018, aimed at bringing together industry players and businesses forward. — Bernama

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