Kuala Lumpur/Shanghai/Tokyo:Proton Holdings Bhd., the Malaysian car maker that ended partnership talks with Volkswagen AG in 2007, said it’s in early discussions with Renault SA and General Motors Corp. about a technical alliance to help make new models.
Talks are very preliminary, said managing director Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir in an interview in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday. We are just discussing how we can explore working together. An alliance is vital. We need to have scale. An equity sale isn’t being considered, he said.
Proton needs a partner to develop a new version of the company’s Perdana luxury sedan by next year, he said. While new models helped the Malaysian car maker, which also makes Lotus sports cars, return to profit last year, it still lacks the size to compete with Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. in the home market.