Malaysia plans to start a new national car project, in partnership with other countries in the region, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said today, according to The New Straits Times of Malaysia.
Speaking at the 24th Nikkei Conference here, the prime minister said Proton was no longer a Malaysian national car because a substantial stake in the company is now owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.
“Our ambition is to start another national car, perhaps in partnership with other countries in the region,” he was quoted as saying during a dialogue session at the conference.
Mahathir said Japan, South Korea and Thailand were some of the countries in the region that had expertise in manufacturing automobiles.
The paper said at a separate dialogue with foreign correspondents at Japan’s National Press Club, Mahathir said in the over 20 years working with Mitsubishi Motor Corp, Malaysia has acquired most of the skills and technology with regards to the design and production of a new car.
“However, there are certain parts of the car which are extremely expensive to develop. We may want to source some of these expensive parts from other countries, including from Japan.” He was quoted as saying.