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Proton To Announce New Foreign Partner In March 2017

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Proton To Announce New Foreign Partner In March 2017

Proton Holdings Bhd is expected to announce its new strategic partner on 31-March 2017, reports Bernama.

According to Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan, Proton had in June sent out requests for proposals to 14 car makers, adding that Proton would be carrying out an in-depth evaluation on the two or three companies shortlisted.

He said this in response to a question by the MP of Hulu Langat, Dr Che Rosli Che Mat, at the Dewan Rakyat’s sitting yesterday.

Among the brands rumoured to have been in talks with Proton are Skoda (via the Volkswagen Group), Renault, Peugeot (via Group PSA), Suzuki and Geely.

Proton was established in 1983 with Mitsubishi Motors as its technical partner, and the first Proton Saga rolled out in 1985 was based on a Mitsubishi Lancer Fiore.

In the years after 2000, Mitsubishi Motors had gradually divested its interest in Proton, before selling all its stakes to Khazanah Nasional. The partnership was revived in 2008, but did not proceed beyond an ad-hoc collaboration with Mitsubishi to rebadge the Mitsubishi Lancer as a Proton Inspira after the takeover by DRB-Hicom.

There was also a short-lived partnership with Honda, to rebadge develop a Proton Perdana based on the underpinnings of the generation Honda Accord, but Honda has since terminated any further partnerships with Proton.

The company is presently working with Suzuki, but the license agreement is limited to just two models – the Indonesian market Ertiga and another A-segment model, believed to be the Thailand market Suzuki Celerio.

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