Malaysia has the potential to become a regional automotive industry leader, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The Prime Minister said that plans are underway to further develop national car manufacturer Proton’s Tanjung Malim plant into a regional hub with foreign investment from Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd (Geely).
“I have discussed with the Perak Mentri Besar to ensure that there is ease of doing business and all processes are facilitated so that everything necessary will be done.
“This is to ensure the success of collaborative efforts of Geely and Proton to turn the Tanjung Malim plant into the focal automotive centre in the region, whether for training or research and development.
“The end goal is to eventually develop the entire enterprise and plant into an integrated automotive centre,” he said in his speech during Proton’s 40th anniversary celebration and launch of the new Proton X90 at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Mitec) Kuala Lumpur on Sunday (May 7).
Earlier, Geely chairman Eric Li Shufu said that they would continue to support Proton’s growth and transition into new energy vehicle technology, such as electric vehicles.
“We will spare no effort to support Proton with new technologies, products and business models to enable them to become a leader in new energy vehicles in the Asean market while also building the new energy vehicle ecology in Malaysia.
“The plan now is to help Proton launch at least one new energy vehicle model every year while also cultivating 5,000 local talents in the field of new energy vehicles in the company within the next five years,” he said.
Geely currently owns a 49.9% stake in Proton through its affiliate, Linkstate Overseas Ltd.
The newly launched Proton X90 will be a three-row SUV and be the national automaker’s first mild-hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) with a 48-volt electric motor synergy (EMS) system. In addition to including features from its previous X70 model, the new X90 will also feature increased safety features such as increased back sensor range and a parking assistant system.
The X90 will come in four variants with prices starting at RM123,800 for the Standard (seven-seater) variant.
The Executive (seven-seater) variant is priced at RM130,800 followed by the Premium (seven-seater) variant at RM144,800, while the range topping Flagship (six-seater) version is priced at RM152,800.