Proton and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) have jointly announced today that they are in serious discussion for strategic collaboration to further strengthen the competitiveness of both companies. The items being considered for collaboration include the following:

– Joint production of engines in Malaysia
– Consignment production of MMC-brand vehicles at Proton facilities
– Sharing of major parts and components between MMC’s “Global Small” and Proton’s upcoming “Global Small Car”
– Provision of MMC’s future tech such as electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid vehicle technology

So it looks like Proton’s plant, which has spare capacity, will churn out CKD Mitsubishi models. MMC’s Global Small Car (to be launched in March 2012) is out of the question, since Proton has its own upcoming small car (EMAS), and the Lancer is already made here with a Proton badge. Could it be the Mitsubishi ASX compact crossover then?

According to the statement, Proton and MMC had “jointly proceeded with feasibility studies since late 2010” to identify these areas of collaboration that improves global competitiveness for both parties. We previously heard that Proton was talking with Nissan on a collaboration, but it’s clear now that it didn’t work out.

For Proton, this deal will help it expand its line up of cars and make good use of its under utilised production capacity, mainly at Tanjung Malim. For MMC, this is part of a plan to expand its footprint in ASEAN. They already have a presence in Thailand, building trucks, truck based SUVs and the eco car. So perhaps Malaysia can contribute to the cause with a sedan and crossover.

More updates soon.