Look Proactively At DRB-HICOM- Geely's Tie-Up, Auto Companies Urged

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SERDANG, Nov 9 -- The local automotive industry needs to proactively look at the strategic partnership between DRB-Hicom Bhd and China's Geely Holding Group Co Ltd (Geely) in the ownership of Proton Holdings Bhd to revive exports of national cars, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid said.

He said major automotive players in the country should learn how China’s automative industry grew rapidly to become one of the top five global carmakers besides Japan, South Korea, India and the United States.

Despite the world economic uncertainty, he said China produced more than two million passenger vehicles this year.

He expressed confidence that the DRB-HICOM-Geely’s tie-up would herald a new era for Proton to continue its growth path as a leading national car brand for domestic and overseas markets.

"Just like the Chinese automotive industry's approach, Proton has access to various platforms and engines developed by Geely Holdings, as well as opportunities to further penetrate existing markets, including in Southeast Asia," he said when launching the Malaysia Autoshow 2017 organised by the Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) here today.

Ahmad Zahid said the national automotive industry like that of China placed importance on market access to ensure that the cars produced could be marketed worldwide, besides providing a fiscal stimulus package to spur local demand despite the world economic volatility.

In May this year, DRB-Hicom sold a 49.9 per cent stake in its wholly-owned Proton Holdings to Geely, with DRB-Hicom retaining a 50.1 per cent equity.

On Energy-Efficient Vehicle (EEV), Ahmad Zahid said that in line with the National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2014, Malaysia has never lagged behind in the EEV penetration rate which is expected to reach 50 per cent by year-end.

“In the use of green energy, Malaysia has ratified the Kyoto Protocol to reduce carbon emissions and the EEV vehicle production is one of our efforts to contribute to the environment," he said.

The NAP 2014 has targeted to turn Malaysia into an EEV regional hub by 2020, Ahmad Zahid said, adding he is proud that international brands operating in the country also supported the aspiration.

Themed "Smart, Safe and Sustainable Mobility", the four-day Malaysia Autoshow 2017 is the largest ever motor show organised by MAI.

Occupying 42,000 sq metres of floor space, it gathers 170 exhibitors and is expected to attract over 250,000 visitors.