At the appointment ceremony welcoming Suzuki Malaysia dealers into the Proton Edar fold, the collaboration between Proton and Suzuki has also been detailed, with the confirmation that a jointly-developed new model is expected to head into production before the end of the year.
“Today, I am happy to announce that the collaboration is seeing the first of many exciting milestones and providing Proton with the advantage of additional dealers, vendors, skilled manpower, platform sharing and technology know-how,” said Proton CEO Datuk Abdul Harith Abdullah.
Suzuki has already ceased sales of its vehicles, as well as production at DRB Hicom’s plant in Pekan. In addition, the national carmaker says that it has access to Suzuki’s talents, models, platforms, powertrains and other technology.
Suzuki will also provide specific technical assistance for the joint products while taking advantage of Proton’s larger distribution and service network for its “rebranded cars” – the plurality of the term suggests that there will be more than one model to come from the venture.
Proton also claims that Suzuki’s technology and expertise with smaller engines in the A and B segments will complement its long-term product plan. The collaboration will also give Proton the opportunity to leverage on Suzuki’s strengths – maximising volume potentials, reducing development lead time and expediting time to market – through Suzuki’s technology sharing and the ability to reduce cost.
“We are happy that the Malaysian government supports such collaboration as it is also in line with the National Automotive Policy (NAP),” said Datuk Harith. “The collaboration will provide Proton with the opportunity to grow internationally, leveraging on Suzuki’s presence worldwide while Proton continuously develops and produces cars that meet international standards and requirements.
“The collaboration will also see the assimilation of good and best in class practices. As Suzuki exits the Malaysian market, it displays genuine commitment to make this collaboration successful according to the agreed terms. In that, Proton is honoured to be part of its several successful partnerships worldwide and we look forward to a more fruitful journey in our transformation initiatives to increase market share,” he added.
Proton chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad previously announced that the collaboration will involve specifically compact and small cars from Suzuki up to 1.0 litre that are not currently sold in Malaysia, in a segment where Proton is currently not present in. He also confirmed that the Tanjung Malim plant will be utilised in the collaboration.