The Edge reported on Monday that Proton Holdings Bhd is exploring partnership options with other automers including Mitsubishi Motors Corp of Japan. Talks between Proton and Volkswagen AG seems to have run into difficulty.

It’s interesting to hear that Mitsubishi has popped up among the possible partners that are Volkswagen AG and Hyundai (well, mainly through Sime Darby). Proton had a 20 year old relationship with Mitsubishi which broke down. Mitsubishi disposed it’s entire 16% stake in Proton, most of which were picked up by Khazanah Nasional, which holds 42.7% of Proton shares now.

The Mitsubishi-Proton partnership was deemed a failure because of the lack of technology transfer. What would be different about it this time? Does NAZA and Peugeot’s partnership on the Peugeot 206 involve technology transfer? It’s an outgoing model after all, due to be replaced with the Peugeot 207.

If talks with Volkswagen really break down, we may not see the proposed use of Volkswagen’s Sharan and Passat platforms for Proton’s new MPV and Perdana replacement model.

Whatever the result, everything has just been speculations so far from industry sources. We eagerly await solid outcomes with official announcements.

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