A foreign partner is key to Proton’s survival when Malaysia’s sheltered auto market is opened fully by 2008.

Mahathir says:

If we want to, we can sell more than 50% to Volkswagen. They are quite willing, I think, to buy even 100%. There are many other companies which would gladly buy 100% of Proton. Our fear, of course, is if they buy 100%, they might close the production of our national car and just assemble their cars.

However, Volkswagen Group chief executive says that the company would consider taking a stake in Proton only once VW finishes its plans for the coming five to seven years.

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