The government has apparently extended a line of credit to Proton amounting to RM1.7 billion as a further stopgap measure, The Edge reports.

This comes on top of the conditional RM1.25 billion soft loan provided to the national carmaker last year, which is said to have been used up, necessitating a further injection of cash.

“The cash from the soft loan has been fully used up to pay vendors. But Proton’s sales have not improved, although it has been marketing its new cars very hard, throwing promotions left and right. It needs more help from the government,” a source familiar with the matter told the publication.

The report added that Proton will not draw down the whole sum at once, the money supposed to tide it over until parent company DRB-Hicom secures a foreign strategic partner. As last reported, Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely and French company Groupe PSA are the two companies looking to secure a tie-up with Proton.

In April, it was reported that Proton had requested between RM1.5 billion and RM1.8 billion from the government to cover massive losses in its operations. The company is expected to record major losses in the financial year 2017 in the midst of slowing sales, based on the RM1.426 billion net loss it reported in FY2016 ending March 31.

Government funding alone will not sustain Proton in the long run, and so pressure continues to mount on the company to secure a foreign partner that will inject the necessary funds to turn things around.

UPDATE: It has been reported that Geely has agreed to purchase a 49% stake in Proton, as well as a majority stake of between 50% and 75% of Lotus.