With the 2020 NAP (National Automotive Policy) in place, National Carmakers Proton have sound off their intentions to make Next-generation vehicles. Although, the meaning of Next-generation vehicles is very vague in context, we figured Proton is ramping up its plans to make hybrids or plug-ins as well as electric vehicles, from 2020 and beyond. Proton is also keen to dispatch these next-generation cars to regional markets by means of exports.
The call for development of EEVs (Energy Efficient Vechiles) has been around since 2014. Now, the new NAP strategy presents opportunities for brands (local and foreign) to introduce new technologies in the country while also elevating the skills and capabilities of the local vendor community.
Proton is a domestically-owned company by DRB-Hicom who hold 50.1 percent stake and the rest by its Chinese connection, Geely. With this arrangement and capitalizing on the 2020 NAP, Proton is able to leverage on its shareholder strengths and gain access to local ecosystems via its local stakeholder and new technologies from its major stakeholders.
The outlines tabled at the NAP 2020 is still at its infancy stage, hence Proton is merely using this opportunity to tell everyone their plans in the near future. Proton reveals that they will continue investing in new products and technologies as well as plant & manufacturing facilities. Local vendors will continue to play a major role for Proton as part of its big plans to promote investments in new technologies, especially through strategic collaborations to infuse technical capabilities and expand commercial viability.
Proton’s CEO Li Chunrong commented, “The unveiling of NAP 2020 shows Malaysia is moving towards the adoption of new technology vehicles featuring electric and hybrid powertrains as well as autonomous and connectivity technologies. Proton’s two shareholders grant us access to Malaysia’s automotive industry ecosystem as well as the technologies needed for NxGV models, one of the main thrusts of the policy. Proton is confident with the correct policies in place, we will be able to contribute towards Malaysia achieving the goals set out in NAP 2020.”
As for sales drive, Proton is banking on more dealerships to join its existing 3S/4S network. The goal is to offer a better ownership experience for its customers. Ultimately, Proton intends to someday return to the No.1 spot in the TIV (total industry volume) vehicle sales charts.