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3 November 2009

Malaysia’s Proton seeks partner to enter India

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Proton Holdings Bhd, owner of Malaysia’s national car Proton, plans to set up an assembly plant and a Lotus Engineering design centre in India soon, reported local business daily the StarBiz.

Proton is currently identifying a suitable partner to undertake the joint-venture assembly plant project, the company’s managing director Syed Zainal told StarBiz.

“We will finalise the partner early next year. Subsequently, it will take 12 to 14 months to start operations at the assembly plant.

“The location of the plant has yet to be decided. It could be in Mumbai or Chennai,” he said after a dialogue session between International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed and Indian businessmen in Chennai.

Syed Zainal is among the members of Malaysia’s trade and investment mission to India led by Mustapa.

The joint-venture assembly plant in India would save about 30 percent in operation costs, as it could source automotive components locally within India, compared with importing automotive parts from Malaysia, Syed Zainal said.

He said Proton also planned to set up a Lotus Engineering design centre in Chennai or Mumbai early next year.

“We are talking to automotive consulting companies now. The design centre will do computer-aided design and computer-aided engineering work.

“Setting up such a centre in India allows us to do high-end engineering work cost effectively,” he said.

Besides Malaysia, there are also Lotus Engineering design centres in Britain, the US and China.


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