Proton Holdings Bhd has teamed up with SAIPA Co of Iran to explore the possibility of collaborating in areas of engine manufacturing, model development and research and development (R&D) activities.
Its chairman, Datuk Mohammed Azlan Hashim, said the agreement will pave the way for Proton to capitalise on its R&D capabilities and technogical advancements.
He said the national car manufacturer in the past one year has entered into several strategic collaborations to enhance its export of cars.
Proton today signed a strategic collaborative agreement with SAIPA in conjunction with the launch of its third millionth car by Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, here.
The agreement was signed by Proton’s managing director Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir while SAIPA was represented by its president, Mehrdad Bazrpash. The event was witnessed by Abdullah and International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
SAIPA, which was established in 1966, is one of the two main automobile manufacturers in Iran and has four assembly plants, 47 subsidiary companies, as well as alliances with Citroen, Renault and Kia.
To date, Proton has invested over RM3.3 billion in its R&D activities, Mohammed Azlan said in his speech here today.
According to him, its R&D facility at the Shah Alam factory was one of the few international standard automotive facilities with its own virtual reality laboratory.
“The focus of our R&D is to provide customers with a better driving experience. Improving technology through in-depth R&D helps Proton achieve that goal,” he said.
He said the new SAGA, which was launched in January this year is a showcase of Proton’s development and progression as an automotive manufacturer as well as a testament of the company’s leadership in automotive R&D and engineering design.
Proton also plans to replicate the success of the Persona and Saga with its first Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV), which is to be launched early next year.
To date, Proton has received over 73,000 bookings for its SAGA and over 50,000 bookings for the Persona. Persona was launched in August last year.