Proton Holdings Bhd (Proton) has inked a general distributorship agreement with smart Automobile Co Ltd (smart) to service and distribute premium electric vehicles (EV) in Malaysia and Thailand.
This collaboration follows a prior memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed between the two companies earlier this year. The first Smart model to be sold by Proton during the first phase of the collaboration would see an official launch in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Proton chairperson Syed Faisal Albar Syed Ali Rethza Albar, said that this partnership would prove fruitful for the pair’s expansion of its customer base and gain new revenue streams from more affluent and younger buyers in Malaysia and Thailand.
“We will also gain critical knowledge on how to market, sell and service new energy vehicles, which is a new market for us, and give better access to export markets like Thailand that has a well-established EV policy and consumer exposure.”
“This is also an opportunity for Proton to push the development of the Automotive High Tech Valley in Tanjong Malim, Perak, while creating opportunities in the national automotive ecosystem.”
Meanwhile, Proton chief executive officer, Dr Li Chunrong, commented that this would be a significant step in the company’s entry into the new EV 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.”