PUTRAJAYA: The future of Proton vendors lies in supplying components for the manufacturing of hybrid and electric cars, said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The vendors must cooperate with national car manufacturer Proton by finding out what they could produce to meet the needs of hybrid and electric cars, he added.
Dr Mahathir was confident that Malaysia could do well in producing such cars since it would be stepping into the arena at the same time as the car manufacturers from other countries.
“We were far behind in terms of engineering when we started producing Proton cars.
“But we have succeeded and we are still here after some very big names have gone bankrupt.
“With our research and development efforts now, we can keep pace, if not succeed, and even lead the pack in producing hybrid and electric cars,” he said during the Proton Vendors Association (PVA) annual dinner and launch of the book PVA-The Journey Continues here yesterday.
Also present were Proton Vendors Association (PVA) president Datuk Dr Wan Mohamed Wan Embong and Proton Holdings Bhd managing director Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir.
Dr Mahathir said vendors would probably need to invest in new equipment.
But he was sure that they would be able to find the necessary research and development to help them along.
He said his hope was to see the vendors serve not just Proton, but someday supply components to other car manufacturing companies around the world.
“My dream is to see us produce parts for aircraft someday.
“It also involves engineering and I am confident you can (do it),” he said.