DRB-HICOM has announced plans to introduce its own hybrid car by 2012. Group director of automotive, Datuk Nik Hamdan Nik Hassan said the conglomerate is currently in talks with three potential partners to manufacture the car and that they hope to finalise the deal next year.

“We want to have our own hybrid car that we can call it HICOM hybrid. It will take 18 to 24 months to have this car to come on stream,” he told a media briefing today. When pressed for details, he declined to name the parties but said that one of them was DRB-HICOM’s existing partner.

Who might that be? At present, DRB-HICOM has links with Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Mahindra as well as local brands Proton and Modenas. It has just cut off ties with GM and Chevrolet.