Proton seals deal on feasibility of local smart Automobile assembly
19 Sep 2023
Proton Holdings Bhd has today signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with smart Automobile at the 2023 China-Asean Expo.
The signing comes exactly 20 months after both parties signed a similar document in 2022 that lead to the appointment of Proton as the official distributor for smart vehicles in Malaysia and Thailand.
While the first MoA signed was to explore the potential for Proton to sell smart’s EV offerings in Asean, the new deal is for both parties to study the feasibility to locally assemble smart vehicles at the national carmakers’s Tanjung Malim plant.
“The new MoA brings our collaboration to a new level as now we are talking about assembling smart models in Malaysia,” said Proton chief executive officer Dr Li Chunrong.
“As an automotive manufacturer, Proton always intended to raise our involvement with smart beyond distribution for the Asean region as there are many efficiencies to take advantage of because both companies are members of the Geely Group,” Li added.
Following the MoA signing in 2022, Proton has made big strides in its efforts to represent smart in the region.
The general distributorship agreement was signed in August last year, which was quickly followed by the formation of Pro-Net, Proton’s subsidiary to represent the company’s interests in the EV space.
Since then, Proton has sent groups of workers to China for on-job-training stints specific to the EV industry to build talent pool for its own future EV market plans.
It has also tested the smart #1 extensively in Malaysia to gain knowledge of its performance when driven in the unique climate and road conditions here.
Pro-Net, meanwhile, has signed an MoU with Gentari, the renewable energy arm of Petronas, built working relationships with other EV ecosystem stakeholders, appointed ten smart dealers as well as introduced the smart #1 to the public at various events.
The most recent move was the launch the Hello smartApp recently on Sept 14, offering four first-in-Malaysia features including the integration of 70 per cent of the charging maps from charging operators, to allow easy identification of availability, booking and payment for EV chargers in the country.