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Proton vendors to work with foreign vendors in run-up to X70 SUV production

CarSifu logo CarSifu 10/10/2018 THOMAS HUONG
a red car: PROTONSUVFrontRed © Provided by Star Media Group Berhad PROTONSUVFrontRed

TANJUNG MALIM: Proton took another step for the local production of the X70 SUV when a number of its vendors signed collaboration agreements with their overseas counterparts at a ceremony here today.

Production of the X70 will start in 2019, and it will be the first model jointly developed by Proton and Geely to be manufactured at the Tanjung Malim plant.

The first batch of agreements to be signed, ranging from joint ventures to technical assistance, will attract an initial investment of RM170 million to Malaysia. The amount is expected to multiply over the years in tandem with increases in Proton’s manufacturing volume.

Investing for the future

The signing of agreements between Malaysian and overseas vendors is the first step in establishing a supplier base capable of meeting the technology and quality standards required to build the next generation of Proton cars to be jointly developed with Geely.

It is also a commitment by Proton to grow its sales locally and via export markets as Tanjung Malim is transformed into a research and development as well as production hub for right-hand drive models within the Geely Group.

To achieve this, Proton is investing RM1.2 billion in plant expansion initiatives to cater to the manufacture of all new models here in line with the strategic partnership agreement signed between Proton and Geely in 2017 to rejuvenate Proton and its model offerings.

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.

“Proton would like to urge its vendors to grab this opportunity to build partnerships with their overseas counterparts in order to reach a world standard for technology advancement and quality,” said Proton chairman Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar.

“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. 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 (competitive) parts made in Malaysia for the domestic market as well as for our export models.”

X70 off to good start

Proton said customer response to the X70 has been encouraging with many placing bookings with a deposit of RM1,000 since the order book was opened on Sept 8.

Prior to its launch, it will be displayed at a series of customer previews designed to introduce Malaysians to Proton’s first SUV.

“The X70 will feature new technology that will be new to Proton models as well as a level of luxury and quality that, together with our new 3S and 4S outlets, will elevate the brand. We are confident many Malaysians will rediscover their love for Proton models after they have experienced this

new SUV,” said Proton CEO Dr Li Chunrong.

The event at Proton’s plant here was attended by Perak Mentri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu, Tanjung Malim MP Chang Lih Kang and Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin of Exco Investment and Corridor Development. They were hosted by Proton chairman Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar, Dr Li, Proton deputy CEO Datuk Radzaif Mohamed and other senior management staff of Proton and DRB-Hicom.

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