Proton to complete plant expansion next year


International Trade and Industry deputy minister, Dr Ong Kian Ming delivered his opening speeh at the Kuala Lumpur International Conference 2018 at MITEC.Looking on are ASLI board director, Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam and Malaysian Automotive Association [ MAA ] president, Datuk Aishah Ahmad. - AZMAN GHANI / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Proton Holdings Bhd aims to complete its RM1.4bil plant expansion in Tanjung Malim by the fourth quarter of next year.

Deputy chief executive officer Datuk Radzaif Mohamed said the upgraded plant would be used to manufacture its upcoming X70 SUV model and its next-generation model.

The plant would also be the production hub for the Geely Group’s right-hand drive models.

“The upgraded plant will have a capacity to produce 250,000 cars per year from 150,000 cars currently.

“We are targeting the upgrade of our plant in Tanjung Malim to complete by the fourth quarter of next year,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the Kuala Lumpur International Automotive Conference (KLIAC) 2018.

In September last year, Geely completed the deal to buy a 49.9% stake in Proton. Under the deal, Proton had secured the rights to use the intellectual properties (IPs) to manufacture and sell three Geely models for the next 10 years in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

Radzaif said that so far, Proton had received about 12,000 bookings for the Proton X70 SUV model, which was introduced in September. He said Proton is targeting to launch it by next month.

“We haven’t decided on the pricing of the Proton X70 SUV yet,” Radzaif said, adding that the upcoming model would have advanced features such as autonomous emergency braking, front collision warning and blind spot monitoring.

“You can also connect the vehicle through mobile applications,” he added.

Analysts had earlier targeted the SUV to be competitively priced relative to its peers of between RM120,000 and RM140,000.

The five-seater vehicle will be Proton’s first SUV model.

Radzaif said Proton was eyeing incorporating some of these features in its upcoming models, as well as in affordable models.

The KLIAC was organised by the Malaysian Automotive Association and the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute.


   

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