TANJUNG MALIM, Oct 10 — Proton Holdings Bhd expects to help bring in an initial investment of RM170 million into the country through collaboration agreements signed between its vendors and their overseas counterparts.
Proton Chairman Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar said the first batch of agreements, inked today by 14 local and foreign vendors, ranged in scope from joint ventures to technical assistance for the local production of the newly-introduced Proton X70 sport utility vehicle (SUV).
He said this marked the first step in building a supplier base that could meet the technology and quality standards of new-generation Proton vehicles developed in partnership with Geely.
“The (investment) amount is expected to multiply over the years in tandem with the growth of Proton’s manufacturing volume. It is also part of Proton’s commitment to grow its sales domestically and via the export markets, as Tanjung Malim is transformed into a research and development (R&D) as well as transportation hub for right-hand drive models within the Geely group,” he added.
He was speaking at the signing of the agreements, which was witnessed by State Investment and Corridor Development Committee Chairman Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, at the carmaker’s plant here.
Also present were Proton Chief Executive Officer Dr Li Chunrong dan his deputy Datuk Radzaif Mohamed.
To turn Tanjung Malim into the R&D and transportation hub, Syed Faisal said, Proton was investing RM1.2 billion in plant expansion initiatives to cater to the manufacture of all new Proton models there.
The long-term goal is to re-establish the brand as a market leader domestically while growing its presence internationally, particularly in Asean right-hand drive markets.
“The participation of Malaysian vendors is a key component to achieving the long-term goals of the company. We want Proton products that are built right here in Tanjung Malim, using parts made in Malaysia for the domestic market as well as for our export models, to be able to stand the comparison with competitors from around the world,” he said.
Mohd Nizar, in his speech, urged local vendors to grab this opportunity to build partnerships with their overseas counterparts in order to reach a world standard for technology advancement and quality.
“This will enable them to compete internationally and lead to the development of a Malaysian automotive industry vendor community that is able to compete on a global scale,” he said.
The Proton X70 will be the first model jointly developed by Proton and Geely to be made at the Tanjung Malim plant.
Meanwhile, Radzaif announced that since the first Proton SUV was unveiled to the public, it had received encouraging response from consumers, many of whom had made bookings by paying a RM1,000 deposit since booking opened on September 8. — Bernama