New Proton model to be produced in China

The shape of things to come?

The new model to be introduced by national carmaker, Proton Holdings Bhd, next year is not a replacement model for Proton Persona, its managing director Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir said today.

He said the new model, tentatively called “P3-21A” was a totally new car, with new design and has no carry over from Persona at all. Designed to meet legislative requirements of all possible markets, the world-class would be powered by Campro turbo engine, he told reporters.

Syed Zainal said the new model was also one of the two models to be produced in China as part of Proton’s collaboration with Beijing-based Hawtai Motor Group Ltd. The other model is Proton Exora.

Proton recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Hawtai Motor for product collaboration. Syed Zainal Abidin said a definitive agreement would be negotiated by December.

“I just had a meeting with the people from Hawtai to discuss about the fundamental structure as to who is going to be the chief executive officer, how many people from Proton will be based here, what kind of products (to be manufactured here), styling must be done here and sourcing must be done here.

“So I’m quite excited about this, the board is excited about this. I believe this would reduce the investment that Proton has to make in expanding our business.

“Our revenue would also not only come from selling cars but also from engineering and licensing and more importantly, we are now indirectly presented in the biggest market in the world, but we don’t have to invest a billion dollars in doing so.

“This is more a strategic approach and should be on track. They need us and we need them. This is a relationship where both parties are going to win, we are not exploiting anybody,” he said.

Among issues discussed was the branding for the domestic market, which would be Hawtai’s, but for the export market, it would carry Proton brand. Proton is also testing Hawtai’s Euro 5-compliant diesel engine in its cars. “This is a symbiotic relationship for both parties. A lot of work needs to be done, it requires a lot of investment from our part too,” he added.

— Bernama