Proton Holdings Berhad is reported to have established a 20-month timeline for a product introduction from its Asean car project.
According to Bernama, the company may choose to partner with one or multiple Chinese automakers for this. International Trade and Industry Minister II Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said negotiations are underway between Proton and multiple China-based automobile companies, including Geely.
“Things are moving positively. They say they need 20 months from now to build a plant and roll out the first car,” he said during media briefing.
Ong said that these partnerships would allow Malaysia to take advantage of China’s research and development, thus equipping Proton with the added expertise to introduce a competitive and compelling model for the Asean market.
There is significant potential within the regional automotive sector considering the expanding middle class’ purchasing power and large overall population, said the minister.
“We must act fast to capture the market. If we can produce cars to cater to this market, it will be highly beneficial, given the various regional free trade agreements.”