Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, China’s largest privately owned automotive group, and Proton Holdings Berhad, Malaysia, have agreed terms to enable Proton vehicles to fully utilise core technology platforms developed by Geely. It was stated that the partnership will also extend areas of cooperation in research and development, quality control and competitiveness.
Under a Heads of Agreement framework, the partnership will enable the Malaysian national brand to strengthen its position in the ASEAN region and to harness new energy technologies developed by Geely Auto. Other initiatives include supporting Proton’s global expansion and its potential launch in the Chinese market.
The deepening strategic agreement with Proton follows the decision by Geely Holding Group in June 2017 to acquire a 49.9% stake in the Malaysian company from DRB-HICOM, the parent group of Proton, with the goal of rebuilding its domestic market share and exploring international expansion opportunities in south east Asia and globally.
“Today’s cooperation agreement is an extension of the existing partnership that we have established with DRB-HICOM. This new framework will help us to embark on the next stage of development for Proton Cars and to assist the brand achieve its full potential in Malaysia and South East Asia, as well as globally by utilising new energy technologies and boosting the core competencies of the Malaysian automotive industry,” Geely Holding Group Chairman Li Shufu stated.
Since Geely acquired its stake in Proton, the company has seen an improvement in sales that reached a 30-month record in July 2018. In the fourth quarter of this year, Proton will launch its first jointly developed sports utility vehicle (SUV) to strengthen its position in the Malaysian market and ASEAN region.
“Today is a very special day for us as we are here in Hangzhou to build the first plant outside Malaysia; in the biggest automotive market in the world. This strategic cooperation will have a focus on introducing electrification into our products via the extensive know how available with our partners and within ourselves at Proton,” added Proton Chairman and DRB-HICOM Group Managing Director, Dato’ Sri Syed Faisal Albar.