A smart Move By PROTON

A smart Move By PROTON

Riding the current trend, PROTON has made the move by signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with smart Automobile Company, which makes New Energy Vehicles (NEV). This agreement will see Proton Edar appointed as the importer, distributor and dealer for smart in Malaysia and Thailand, as well as for smart Automobile (Nanning) Sales Co. Ltd. to be the gateway for smart to the ASEAN region. The latter is a fully owned subsidiary of smart Automobile.

In 2020, the smart brand became an official joint venture project between Daimler AG and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. New smart NEVs will be designed by the Mercedes-Benz global design team with Geely’s global research & development teams doing the engineering and production. All new smart cars will be manufactured in a new plant in China. As you may be aware, Geely is a substantial shareholder of PROTON; Geely’s founder is also Daimler’s largest single shareholder.smart_Concept_New Energy Vehicle

The signing of the MoA took place virtually with Roslan Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer of Proton Edar, and Ulf Nestler, Vice President of Finance for smart, acting as signatories for their respective companies. Also present to witness the event were Dato’ Sri Syed Faisal Albar, Chairman of PROTON; Tong Xiangbei, Chief Executive Officer of smart; and Dr Li Chunrong, Chief Executive Officer of PROTON.

Proton Edar_smart Automobile_Memorandum Of Agreement Signing“With the signing of the MOA, PROTON is taking its first steps on its New Energy Vehicle strategic journey. By collaborating with smart, we will be able to gain experience in the selling, servicing, and charging of NEVs and build up the skill sets we require to be a force in ASEAN’s rapidly expanding NEV sector. This is also an opportunity to tap on smart’s customer base, which will open up more opportunities for the Proton brand,” said Syed Faisal Albar.

According to forecasts by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the NEV market will grow to around 10 million units in Southeast Asia by 2025. With an all-electric new product portfolio due to be launched in coming years, smart will be well placed to take advantage of growth in the region. The first new vehicles from smart are expected to go on sale worldwide later this year.

“With smart’s ‘dual-home’ (Europe and China) business strategy, the company already covers two of the world’s largest automotive markets. Now, as part of our forward-looking strategy, we are joining hands with PROTON in Southeast Asia. With minimal investment, the agreement will allow us to enter the Thai and Malaysian markets in the near future. As our regional partner, PROTON has a first-class corporate reputation, extensive experience and valuable knowledge of local operations. We look forward to working together to provide consumers in Southeast Asia with a new premium, intelligent, all-electric driving experience.” said Tong Xiangbei.

The MoA with Proton Edar is for the company to establish a multi-level sales and service network in Malaysia and Thailand, as well as a brand experience centre and a number of sales locations, providing local markets with sales and aftersales services for smart vehicles. Currently, there are no plans to collaborate beyond the tenets of the agreement.


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