Geely-Proton targets production of 280,000 cars

OngKaChuanTANJUNG MALIM: The government has targeted the production of about 280,000 units of cars for the China and Southeast Asian markets from the strategic partnership of Zhejiang Geely Holdings Group and Proton Holdings Bhd (Proton).

Second Minister of International Trade and Industry Ong Ka Chuan said the automotive market in Malaysia was small, where last year’s sales of various brands recorded 580,000 units compared with China at 28 million units.

“At 28 million units, China wants to assist us in securing 1% of this amount,” he added.

He said to reach this target, Proton needed a strategic partner, as research and world-class design were very important to compete on the international stage.

“Geely can provide the support from the aspect of outstanding research as we (Malaysia) need a big change.

“At present, all the automotive companies are racing to produce fully self-driven cars.

“So, Geely with Proton need to build a plant here in the next five years.

“When ready, cars will enter the China and Southeast Asian markets, with the latter being an important destination with a population of 600 million,” he added, after officiating the Ekspo Tanam Tuai here today.

Ong, who is also the Tanjung Malim MP, said the manufacture of Proton cars would still be located at Tanjung Malim, with a bigger production maintained at Shah Alam, Selangor.

“Tanjung Malim will also witness a major change when new jobs are expected to be created in the near future, resulting from the economic spillover in the district.

“We are taking the opportunity to plan for the construction of an electronics plant in Tanjung Malim as cars use a lot of electronics.

“What is important is that it will open up more job opportunities for the youths so that they need not migrate to the big cities,’ he added.