The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding at the beginning of March to explore technical collaboration opportunities over the next three months.
Proton has discussed collaboration with a number of global vehicle manufacturers over the last decade, including a strategic alliance with Volkswagen that was not consummated. The Malaysian first national car company now appears more open to partnerships at product level rather than a corporate tie.
Proton is looking to license platform and powertrain technology from Nissan for its next generation of passenger vehicles to help speed up new model launches. The company is struggling to recover lost market share in its home market, with Perodua and non-national car assemblers continuing to gain market share.
Local analysts believe the two companies are discussing the transfer of Nissan March/Micra platform technology for a new subcompact car range to be launched in 2012 or 2013. The 1.2-litre powertrain used in Proton ’s current sub-compact car, the Savvy, is sourced from Nissan’s parent company Renault.