KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Harapan might have plans to set up another national car company if it succeeds in capturing Putrajaya in the upcoming general election.
Its chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he has "some ideas about starting another automotive company," that could become a catalyst for the growth of engineering know-how and capabilities.
"For Proton, various companies were established to manufacture components and parts for the cars.
"Cars need 4,000 parts, so these provide opportunities for manufacturers,” Dr Mahathir told a forum on China’s investment in Malaysia.
Dr Mahathir lamented the recent sale of Proton’s stakes to China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, saying that "Malaysia is the only developing country that succeeds in creating cars of the same standard as other developed countries."
“Proton cars have all the features of cars coming in from other countries.
“The only thing it doesn’t have is that it doesn’t conform to Euro 5 or Euro 6 (standards), which we could have if we are prepared to pay the price,” he said.
In June, DRB-Hicom Bhd inked a deal to sell a 49.9% stake in Proton Holdings Bhd to China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group for a total of RM460.3mil.
Proton, set up in 1983, is the brainchild of Dr Mahathir during his 22-year tenure.
However, it had suffered severe losses over the previous years.
Putrajaya had argued that it was necessary to sell off stakes in Proton in order to reduce losses incurred by the national carmaker.