SUBANG JAYA: Proton Holdings Bhd has today formalised a deal to sell and service vehicles from smart Automobile Company in Malaysia and Thailand.
Both parties signed a general distributorship agreement, paving the way for the introduction of new energy vehicles by the national carmaker.
The first smart model to be sold by Proton during the first phase of the collaboration will be launched in early fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023.
Proton chief executive officer Dr Li Chunrong said the agreement marked a big step for the company’s entry into the new energy vehicle market.
“The first phase of business with smart is focused on retailing but it provides us with valuable knowledge and experience on how to service and charge EVs and how to transform the way we interact with our customers.
“The move into this market segment will also help drive Proton’s move towards being more environmentally friendly in all facets of our operations to help Malaysia achieve its carbon neutrality target by 2050,” he said after the signing ceremony here today.
Besides retailing, Proton also announced its intention to invest in a charging network, collaborating with a local charging provider as well as provide and install domestic units for customers who intend to charge their vehicles at home.
Another facet the company is exploring is using its entry into the market segment to attract young talents.
With the rapid shift in job preference for new workers, Proton said it would use its long-term plans for sustainability and energy efficiency as well as increase its ESG scores to appeal to the next generation of automotive industry workers.
smart was founded as a joint venture in 2019 by Mercedes-Benz AG and Geely Group, with both parties leveraging synergies in research and development (R&D), manufacturing and supply chain to develop smart into a world-leading, premium electric vehicle technology brand.
The new generation of smart EVs is designed by the Mercedes-Benz global design department with engineering led by the smart R&D team, and products set to expand into more market segments.
The first all-electric SUV will go onto the market in 2022 and be sold worldwide.
Source: New Straits Times