DRB-Hicom to invest RM1b-RM2b in car-making hub

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IPOH: Plans to develop Tanjung Malim into a national automotive industry hub will be revived and the move is expected to boost the Perak economy within five years.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir said he had met the Proton management and through several discussions, the national car-maker had decided to revive the project.

DRB-Hicom Bhd is planning to invest between RM1 billion and RM2 billion to accelerate the development of the 16 sq km site.

The Proton City development was undertaken by Proton City Development Sdn Bhd in 1996 and completion is expected by 2020.

Speaking after meeting some 3,000 civil servants here yesterday, Zambry said the state government had been pushing for Proton City to be the country’s automotive hub.

The project, he said, would see an infusion of new and bigger investments into Proton City over the next five years.

This was timely as it would complement the state government’s efforts to develop the southern part of the silver state, he said.

“During our discussions, I had proposed that other car-makers be also invited to set up their operations there. The Proton team was receptive to my suggestion.”

The redevelopment plan is expected to turn almost the entire area south of Sungkai down to Tanjung Malim, including the towns of Slim River and Behrang, into new growth areas for Perak, Zambry added.

During a visit to Proton City on Saturday, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had announced that major plans were in store for the transformation of Proton City here into the national automotive city.

He had said the government was committed to making this a reality and a full-fledged city, with proper secondary schools, could come into existence in five to 10 years.

In a statement, Proton Holdings Bhd executive chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Khamil Jamil said the 517.12ha plant in Tanjung Malim, which opened in August 2004, now manufactures the Proton Persona, Gen2 (for export) and Preve models. It is five times larger than the Shah Alam plant, which has an annual production capacity of 150,000 units.

The Shah Alam plant currently produces the Saga, Satria Neo R3, Exora and Inspira.

Khamil said production of Proton cars at the Shah Alam plant would be continued, but plans were being considered for future models to be manufactured in Tanjung Malim.

However, he said this would be subject to certain factors, such as infrastructure and amenities.

Khamil said the plan to produce new models in Tanjung Malim was to optimise the utilisation capacity at the state-of-the-art plant there.

"The Tanjung Malim plant is currently operating at less than half its capacity. Besides that, it will further enhance Proton's operational effectiveness and efficiency.

"Compared with the Shah Alam plant, which sits on 101.2ha of land and with no room for further expansion, the Tanjung Malim plant is five times bigger."

Proton’s Tanjung Malim plant has five times more space compared with the Shah Alam plant.


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