Perak Investment Corridor Development chairman Datuk Seri Ir Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin with DRB Hicom group managing director and Proton chairman Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar (center) at partnership agreements signing ceremony between Malaysian and Overseas Vendors at the Tanjung Malim, Perak. NSTP photo by ZUNNUR AL SHAFIQ

TANJUNG MALIM, Perak: National automaker Proton Holdings Bhd is investing a further RM1.2 billion here for the expansion of its existing plant to produce new car models.

Proton chairman Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar said the expansion is in line with the strategic partnership between Proton and Chinese multinational automotive manufacturing company Geely sealed in 2017.

He said Proton has committed to increase sales and export of cars and this factory in Tanjung Malim will also be the global production hub for Geely's right-hand drive models.

"Our 10-year business plan is to bring back the glory of Proton by rebuilding the brand in the local market and extending it internationally, especially ASEAN," he said at the signing ceremony of the cooperation agreement between Proton and its overseas partners, here, today.

The signing of this joint venture agreement was also attended by Proton chief executive officer (CEO) Dr Li Chunrong, Proton deputy (CEO) Datuk Radzaif Mohamed and Perak State Investment and Development Exco Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin.

It seals partnerships 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 partnerships are between 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 to produce components for Proton.

Syed Faisal said the joint venture agreements facilitates production for Proton X70 Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) model and other new models to be launched in the future.

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 expand in the years ahead – and should result in around 450 new jobs.

He said the initial local content target for the completely knocked-down X70 is 30 per cent.

It will grow to 40 per cent before exports to ASEAN markets start.