Sunday, February 05, 2006

Proton - News Update

Main points of Proton-Mitsubishi alliance

Proton Holdings Bhd and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation of Japan will collaborate to develop new Proton vehicles by early 2007 under an agreement signed on Feb 3.

Proton managing director Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir said that they aim to introduce the model in 12 months.

“We would not see anything this year, but we are already working together to develop a model. It (the car) would be ready in 12 months,” he said at a press conference after the two carmakers signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Shah Alam.

Also present at the signing ceremony were International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz, Proton chairman Datuk Mohammed Azlan Hashim and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation president Osamu Masuko.

Under the collaboration, Mitsubishi Motors could possibly assemble its cars in Malaysia at Proton facilities as the Japanese carmaker seeks to increase its presence in Malaysia and Asean, he said.

“That would be part of optimising Proton’s manufacturing facilities, so the assembly of Mitsubishi cars is a possibility,” he said.

Proton has a manufacturing plant in Tanjung Malim capable of producing 300,000 cars a year. However, it is currently only producing 100,000 units annually.

Under the MoU, Mitsubishi would transfer technical expertise to Proton and in return the national carmaker would allow Mitsubishi access to its facilities to expand in the Malaysian and Asean markets.

“This is not only, we hope, to be one way, that Proton will be receiving technology or products from MMC ... perhaps one day we could also share our platform with Mitsubishi not only for domestic (market) but for export,” Syed Zainal said.

He said the agreement would also include supply of components between Proton and Mitsubishi, technical support for production engineering and quality control.

  • Proton Holdings Bhd and Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore the feasibility of cooperation in the following areas:

    (a) product development of new Proton vehicles;
    (b) supply of components between Proton and Mitsubishi;
    (c) technical support for production, engineering and quality control from Mitsubishi to Proton and Proton's vendors; and
    (d) manufacturing of the vehicles at Proton's facilities to the extent mutually beneficial

    The signing of the MoU was held in Proton's Shah Alam plant on Feb 3.

    Proton said the MoU marks a significant step for car makers around the globe who are seeking collaboration as a means of rapid expansion and higher profits.

    The benefits of the arrangement to Proton would include the following:
    (i) Proton will be able to diversify its product range, producing a larger variety of cars within a shorter time to market
    (ii) Proton would be able to speedily diversify its compact and saloon vehicle range as well as fill in the missing gaps in its production line-up, tapping into the lucrative MPV and luxury cars segments of the market
    (iii) Proton will also avail itself to Mitsubishi's parts and components which will lead to component sharing over the long term

    Mitsubishi will provide technical support as well as quality control.

    As for Mitsubish, it can also avail itself to the manufacturing facilities at Proton's Tanjung Malim plant, boosting the factory's capacity and production quality.

    Mitsubishi, currently provides engines and transmission systems to Proton in the Iswara, Wira, Satria, Arena, Waja, Perdana and Gen.2 models.

By Joseph Chin


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