|Proton Secures Deal With China's Automaker
KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 (Bernama) -- Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sdn Bhd (Proton) today signed several agreements with Youngman Automobile Sales Co Ltd and Youngman Automobile Group Ltd Co, paving the way for the national carmaker to offer its products and services in China, the world's fastest-growing car market.
Under the agreements, Youngman will import 30,000 Gen.2 CBU (completely built-up) units and resell under its own EuropeStar brand and eventually develop a new range of Made-in-China EuropeStar cars with the engineering services through Proton's Lotus, Proton Holdings Bhd said in a statement here.
The arrangement will also cover the technology licensing of the Gen.2 platform Campro engine for Youngman's new EuropeStar cars and supply of genuine spare parts.
The agreements were signed in Zhejiang. China, by Proton managing director Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir while Youngman was represented by its chairman Pang Qingnian.
Syed Zainal Abidin said these were landmark win-win agreements as it would enable Proton to sell its products and commercialise its technologies in China through Youngman for their brand of passenger cars in a huge market with promise of exponential growth.
"We are therefore positive with the prospects and export optimisation that will result in production volume increase at the Tanjung Malim plant," he said.
"We are equally optimistic of the opportunities in commercialisation of Proton's technologies and intellectual property rights," he added.
Youngman is China's leading commercial vehicle manufacturer with a licence from the Chinese authorities to produce passenger vehicles.
Car ownership in China is currently at one percent of the population. With the middle-income group growing in size, spurred by economic growth expected to be above eight percent annually, the car market is estimated to expand by 20 to 30 percent annually in the next few years.
Commenting on the deal, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said this could be the first step for Malaysia to enter China's car market.
"Proton has been trying to enter China, and a previous venture there was aborted," Rafidah said.
"Certainly, this (the latest deal) will mean room for further collaboration between Malaysian companies such as Proton and China's automotive companies which we know are making very strong inroads into the global market," she said after the Joint Economic and Trade Commission Meeting here.
Proton, established in 1983, is Malaysia's largest manufacturer of automobiles, producing a range of models to suit consumer demands and preferences.