Continuing from yesterday’s signing between Proton and the Malaysian Automotive Institute (MAI) to pool resources for vendor development, the national carmaker today organised the first signing of collaboration agreements between eight Malaysian vendors and their Chinese counterparts for the local production of the X70 SUV, including joint ventures and technical assistance between these companies.

The vendors that will partner up with each other are Delloyd Industries Malaysia and Hubei Tri-ring Auto-electric Appliance, Hicom Teck See Manufacturing Malaysia and Jiangsu Xinquan Automotive Trim, MTV Digital Technology and Tianjin Bodun Electronics, Multi-Code Electronics Industries Malaysia and SH SIIC Transportation Electric, and Delloyd Alpha and Ningbo Xinpin Auto Parts.

Also signing agreements are Delloyd Electronics and Avic Guiyang Wanjiang Aviation Electromechanical, Proreka and Ningbo Fushi Automotive Components, and Xenso Electronics and Shenzhen Jiuzhou Zhuoneng Electric. Ningbo Tuopu Vibro-acoustics Technology, a Chinese auto parts developer and manufacturer, will also be setting up shop in Malaysia on its own to produce components for Proton.

The agreements is set to bring an initial investment of RM170 million to Malaysia – an amount that is expected to multiply as Proton’s manufacturing volume is set to grow over the coming years – and should result in around 450 new jobs. The initial local content target for the CKD X70 is 30%. It will grow to 40% before exports to ASEAN markets start.

Proton said the signing is the first step towards building a supplier base capable of meeting the technology and quality standards of Proton’s next-generation vehicles, developed in partnership in Geely. It is also part of the company’s commitment to grow its domestic and export sales, as it turns its Tanjung Malim headquarters into a research, development and production hub for right-hand drive models within the Geely Group.

The X70 is one of three new Geely-based models set to be introduced in the near future, the others being a B-segment SUV based on the Bin Yue and an MPV based on a soon-to-be-launched three-row model, codenamed VF11. The Boyue-based X70 will be launched in November this year in fully-imported (CBU) form, before CKD local assembly kicks off next year.