Proton to sell smart EVs in Malaysia and Thailand – Proton Edar to be official importer and distributor

Proton to sell smart EVs in Malaysia and Thailand – Proton Edar to be official importer and distributor

Proton has signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with electric vehicle brand, smart Automobile Company for the brand’s renewed presence in the ASEAN automotive market, the Malaysian carmaker said in a statement.

Proton Edar, the carmaker’s distribution arm, will be appointed importer, distributor and dealer for the smart brand in Malaysia and Thailand, while smart Automobile (Nanning) Sales will hold the role of the electric vehicle brand’s gateway to this region, the statement read.

The signing ceremony was held virtually, with Proton Edar CEO Roslan Abdullah and smart VP of finance Ulf Nestler acting as signatories for Proton and smart, respectively. Also present as witnesses were Proton chairman Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar, smart CEO Tong Xiangbei and Proton CEO Li Chunrong.

The memorandum of agreement is for the establishment of a multi-level sales and service network in Malaysia and Thailand, as well as a brand experience centre and “a number of” sales locations providing sales and after-sales services for smart vehicles in these markets. There are currently “no plans to collaborate beyond the tenets of the agreement,” the statement from Proton read.

Proton to sell smart EVs in Malaysia and Thailand – Proton Edar to be official importer and distributor

“With the signing of the MOA, Proton is taking its first steps on its New Energy Vehicle strategic journey. By collaborating with smart, we will be able to gain experience in the selling, servicing and charging of NEVs and build up the skill sets we require to be a force in ASEAN’s rapidly expanding NEV sector,” said Syed Faisal Albar.

The agreement also represents an opportunity to tap into the smart brand’s customer base, which will open up yet more opportunities for the Proton brand, he added. Geely, which holds a 49.9% stake in Proton in the FSP that was inked in 2017, is also part-owner of the smart brand through a 50:50 joint venture that was signed in March 2019.

Emerging first from this part-ownership by Geely is the smart Concept #1 electric SUV, which was described at debut as a near-production concept; patent images for a production model have since surfaced. Production of the smart EQ forfour has ended this month, leaving the EQ fortwo fixed roof and convertible as the remaining legacy model line still on sale in the UK.

Technical specifics for the eventual productionised Concept #1 have yet to be confirmed by the manufacturer, though parent firm Geely has revealed that the smallest battery available to the SEA2 platform, on which the upcoming smart electric SUV will be based, will still be capable of around 450 km between charges.

GALLERY: smart Concept #1

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Mick Chan

Open roads and closed circuits hold great allure for Mick Chan. Driving heaven to him is exercising a playful chassis on twisty paths; prizes ergonomics and involvement over gadgetry. Spent three years at a motoring newspaper and short stint with a magazine prior to joining this website.




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