The government is targeting the Proton-Geely partnership to have a production volume of about 280,000 units, with a large chunk of this set for the China and Southeast Asian markets, Bernama reports.

Second minister of international trade and industry Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said the figure represented just one percent of China’s total industry volume (TIV) of 28 million units, and that Proton’s Chinese partner was looking to assist the national automaker secure the targeted number.

He added that exports were needed because the automotive market in Malaysia – which recorded a TIV of 580,000 units last year – was small. “So, Geely with Proton needs to build a plant here in the next five years. When ready, cars will enter the China and Southeast Asian markets, with the latter being an important destination, with a population of 600 million,” he said.

“Geely can provide the support from the aspect of outstanding research as we (Malaysia) need a big change. At present, all the automotive companies are racing to produce fully self-driven cars,” he added.

Ong also said that Tanjung Malim will also witness a major change, with new jobs expected to be created in the near future, resulting from the economic spillover in the district.

“We are taking the opportunity to plan for the construction of an electronics plant in Tanjung Malim as cars use a lot of electronics. What is important is that it will open up more job opportunities for the youth so that they need not migrate to the big cities,’ he explained.