It looks like the Proton X70 will continue to remain imported from China for many more months, as local assembly will only commence at Proton’s Tanjung Malim plant in October 2019.
Speaking to Bernama yesterday, Proton Edar CEO Datuk Abdul Rashid Musa said the Tanjung Malim plant is currently being upgraded with an investment of RM 1.2 billion, and that the line to produce the X70 will be ready in October 2019.
Until then, the Proton X70 will be imported completely built-up (CBU) from partner Geely Holding's plant in Baoji, China, using Approved Permits (APs) secured from the government.
We don’t expect any changes in prices between the imported X70 and the locally-assembled ones, although there could be some adjustments in features and trim materials to reflect their local sourcing.
The plant is set to become a right-hand drive production hub for the Proton X70, as well as future Geely-derived Proton models but in the near term, the plant’s focus will to meet local demands first. Export to neighbouring countries of Thailand and Indonesia have been mentioned but nothing has been formalized yet.