Malaysia’s two main national car companies, Proton and Perodua, are in discussions that are expected to lead to closer collaboration between the two automakers.

Perodua’s managing director, Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh, confirmed there are a number of areas in which the two companies wish to collaborate but that these are “still at the discussion stage”.  An announcement is expected to be made later in the year.

It is understood that the discussions are focused on ways to share costs, rather than any deeper partnership involving product sharing. Perodua is a joint venture with Toyota’s Daihatsu Motor as a majority shareholder.

Datuk Aminar also confirmed Perodua has no intentions of merging with Proton answering local speculation about a unified future for the two companies. He said the automaker has its own plans to move forward independently.

It is unclear how collaboration with Perodua would go down with Mitsubishi Motors (MMC), which is currently in talks with Proton over a broad strategic partnership.

Last month Proton announced it was discussing a major strategic partnership with MMC covering joint engine production, product and component sharing - including advanced hybrid technologies, and contract assembly of Mitsubishi vehicles at Proton’s plants in Malaysia.