Proton will produce a hybrid model by the end of this year, said Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Hamim Samuri. He revealed that to Dewan Rakyat yesterday, in reply to a supplementary question by Gombak MP Azmin Ali.
“The marketing status (price) and quantum of units have not been made known to us, but Proton has assured us that the car would be produced by year-end,” he said, adding that Proton has already developed the car’s prototype.
“The success is in line with the government’s aim to make the country a production and marketing hub with a target to produce some six million hybrid and electric cars,” he added further.
End-2014 for the first hybrid Proton is in line with earlier reports, with an EV to follow by end-2015. However, in January, Proton executive chairman Tan Sri Mohd Khamil Jamil mentioned a target of end-2015. He said that the automaker was “on track and hopefully by the end of 2015 we will see some results for Proton.”
It could be that the DRB-Hicom and Proton boss heard “EV” instead of “EEV” or the reporters got mixed up. In any case, it looks like the original timeline is back in place and we will see the first Proton hybrid car by the end of this year.
On electric-powered cars, Hamim said planning is still under way and the first EV is slated to be produced by the end of next year. Read our exclusive test drive reports of the Exora REEV (Range Extender Electric Vehicle) and Saga EV for more insight.