Malaysian carmaker Proton was the first, and still is the only proper OEM car manufacturer in the country, said Proton chairman Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar. He said that this will remain very much the case going into the future.

Speaking at the automaker’s launch of its new corporate identity earlier today, he said that despite the Proton X70 being a relation of the Geely Boyue, Proton isn’t simply going to just rebadge models from the Chinese brand.

He said that Proton will continue as a full-fledged manufacturer and will design its own models, with the company’s research and development division continuing to play a part in developing future Proton models. No mention was however made on what models would be designed locally in the future. Its current locally-derived model line-up includes the Saga, Persona, Iriz and Exora, all of which were facelifted this year.

When the partnership agreement was first announced, it was reported that the automaker’s R&D division would be transformed into one of Geely’s global centre of excellence sites, allowing it to develop future models. The Tanjung Malim plant, which has been augmented to develop right-hand-drive exports of Geely models, will also be the R&D hub for RHD production.