Proton is set to receive firm offers from three currently unconfirmed foreign automakers, said Proton chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Fuaad Kenali to the New Straits Times. “All three shortlisted foreign carmakers are currently doing their due diligence. We expect this to be completed this month. They are expected to come up with the binding offers next month,” he said.

The three possible candidates for partnership are Geely, Groupe PSA and Renault, according to the newspaper. The eventual partner is expected to provide support in terms of technology and economies of scale, in exchange for a possible stake in Proton.

Towards the end of last year, Proton gave itself until March 31 to announce its strategic partner, as one of several conditions from the government to be met for receiving a soft loan of RM1.5 billion. However, the Proton CEO reportedly hinted that the deadline at the end of March would have to be extended, posssibly to June. DRB-Hicom hopes to finalise Proton’s strategic partner by the first half of this year, its group managing director Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar said.

Proton CEO Ahmad Fuaad said to the New Straits Times that the company is targeting sales totalling 120,000 units this year, on the back of four models launched last year, the Perdana, Persona, Saga and Ertiga.