Another week, another statement – DRB-Hicom today issued a follow-up announcement to that made last week regarding the status of the interested parties bidding to become Proton’s foreign strategic partner (FSP).

In case it hasn’t been made clear, all the automakers that have submitted a bid are still around. “There have been news reports stating that we are left with only one bidder. I can confirm that all parties that submitted bids for Proton are still in the running and DRB-Hicom is still evaluating these bids,” group MD Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar said via the statement.

Syed Faisal added that DRB-Hicom is carrying out a detailed evaluation of the bids, and that the conglomerate was going through the tail-end of this meticulous process.

“There are strengths and capabilities of the carmaker that, given a new proven partner that can offer technology, capabilities and new markets, will push Proton as a brand to be reckoned with. This is why our evaluation of the bidders needs to be a detailed one. Proton and the incoming FSP must be able to create synergies that will ensure the success of this venture,” he explained.

Early last week, a news report had indicated that Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely had pulled out of its bid for a partnership with Proton. This led to DRB-Hicom issuing a statement that said all the original bidders were present and accounted for and were still at the negotiation table.

Geely and Groupe PSA are the leading contenders to become Proton’s FSP. The duo are the only automakers to be named as being in discussions with the national carmaker.