Automotive Proton

Published on November 9th, 2023 | by Sounder Rajen


Vice President Of China Pays Tanjong Malim Proton Plant A Visit

Could this mean that Geely is ready to invest an EV into Proton?

His Excellency (H.E) Han Zheng, the Vice President of the People’s Republic of China, visited the Proton plant in Tanjong Malim, Perak, today as part of his official visit to Malaysia and this could be either just a casual visit or a sign that Geely may be ready to invest more, maybe even an electric vehicle (EV), with the brand. Let’s explore.

Mr. Eric Li, Chairman of Geely Holding briefs H.E Han Zheng, Vice President of the People’s Republic of China, on the operations of PROTON Tanjong Malim.

During the hour-long plant visit, H.E. Han Zheng was briefed on the strategic initiatives and innovations that have driven the growth and success of Proton resulting from the ongoing partnership between DRB-HICOM Berhad (DRB-HICOM) and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd. (Geely Holding). 

Moreover, present during the visit were Deputy Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, YB Liew Chin Tong, Deputy Secretary General (Industry) of the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry Datuk Hanafi Sakri, Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, Chairman of DRB-HICOM, Mr Eric Li, Chairman of Geely Holding, Tan Sri Syed Faisal Albar, Chairman of Proton, and Dr Li Chunrong, CEO of Proton.

Proton has also continued to flourish following the collaboration between DRB-HICOM and Geely Holding since 2017. The X70 and X50 SUV models, introduced in 2018 and 2020 respectively, became leaders in their respective segments proving that China made cars are not low quality.

H.E. Han Zheng, Vice President of the People’s Republic of China and Mr. Eric Li, Chairman of Geely Holding talking to the staff at PROTON Tanjong Malim.

In May 2023, Proton also launched the mild-hybrid X90 SUV, its first New Energy Vehicle (NEV), marking the brand’s venture into the new energy sector. Now, we also have the Proton S70 sedan, which I am personally very excited to see, further cementing the collaboration and improvement of our first National carmaker.

On top of that, the partnership between DRB-HICOM and Geely Holding also extends to the Automotive Hi-Tech Valley (AHTV), where Proton Tanjong Malim is located. AHTV will attract investments both locally and from overseas which will propel it to become an international automotive hub for NEV.

Its focus will not only be on the production of automobiles of various makes, but also in the manufacturing of high-technology components and parts for NEVs. This will further expand the capability of local vendors towards specialising in high-technology manufacturing putting Malaysia on the map in terms of EV production.

Group photo with the Vice President of the People’s Republic of China H.E. Han Zheng during the visit to PROTON Tanjong Malim.

So now, we ask you, our readers, what do you guys think? Will our first national carmaker’s next offering be an EV or is the brand still years away from that kind of innovation and was this visit by H.E Han Zheng simply a casual one? Only time will tell but until then, keep reading DSF to stay up to date with the latest automotive news.

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