Proton and Mitsubishi moving towards strategic pact

By CARSIFU | 15 September 2011
SUBANG JAYA: Proton and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) are in talks for strategic collaboration to further strengthen the competitiveness of both parties in the global marketplace.

Group managing director Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir said the collaborative items that were being considered between the two parties covered joint production of engines in Malaysia and consignment production of MMC-brand vehicles at Proton facilities in Tanjung Malim, Perak.

“The collaboration will also see sharing of major parts and components between MMC’s “Global Small” Concept, which is to be launched next March starting in Thailand and Proton’s upcoming “Global Small Car” and also provision of MMC’s future technologies such as electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid vehicle technology,” he said today at a press conference after the group’s AGM.


File pic of Syed Zainal.

The news report about the potential collaboration between Proton and MMC had emerged today prior to the announcement by Proton.

Syed Zainal said for a start, both parties would jointly invest in the production of engines for MMC’s vehicles and details on that would be finalised in the next two months.

“This joint investment will help Proton reduce development cost and time, thus minimising our investment,”he said.

However, he said the collaboration did not involve equity exchange between the two and declined to reveal the amount of investment Proton needed to fork out later and how much stake would Proton hold.

The two companies had jointly proceeded with feasibility studies since late 2010 and had identified these areas of collaboration that could provide both parties with the right synergy in the pursuit of global competitiveness.

Cooperation between Proton and MMC, ever since Proton’s inception as the country’s first car maker and driver of the national automotive industry development had been an enduring business affiliation.

The two companies had signed an agreement in December 2008 on the development and production of new vehicles at Proton.

Under a licensing agreement, Proton produces Inspira, a four-door sedan model based on an MMC model.

The latest discussion between the companies aims to provide yet another win-win relationship where MMC would be able to expand its presence in Asean, while Proton would be able to also expand its line-up and make effective use of its production facilities.