PROTON has signed a General Distributorship Agreement to sell and service electric vehicles in Malaysia and Thailand from the smart Automobile Company. smart Automobile Company is a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz AG and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, with each holding a 50% stake.
The ‘smart partnership’ will be PROTON’s foray into the new energy vehicles segment. Besides the retail of the smart brand, PROTON had also announced its intention to invest in EV charging infrastructure. This will be a collaboration with a local charging services provider. The company will also provide and install domestic charger units in customers’ homes.
PROTON also announced its intention to model retail operations for smart on what the company does in other markets. There will thus be strong emphasis on an integrated digital lifestyle with complementing elements that will match customer preferences with a connected and digital solution encompassing journey planning, charging availability and even purchase considerations.
Apart from this, PROTON is also exploring to use its entry into this market segment to attract young talents. With the rapid shift in preference for new workers, PROTON will use its long-term plans for sustainability and energy efficiency, as well as increasing its ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) scores to appeal to the next generation of automotive industry workers.
“Today marks a big step for PROTON’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 not only how to service and charge EVs but also 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 as we work to help Malaysia achieve its carbon neutrality target by 2050,” said Dr Li Chunrong, Chief Executive Officer, PROTON.