Proton has confirmed it is in talks with Hero Group, India’s largest motorcycle producer, to join forces in the country’s fast-growing automotive market.

Proton Holdings managing director, Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir, told local reporters that entering the Indian vehicle market is a priority for his company.

“We want to enter the market as soon as possible” Datuk Syed Tahir added.

“We have many things to discuss with Hero in the meantime and we will announce something in the second half of the year”.

Proton recently appointed a new board member, Indian national Venkata Rama Subbu, to manage its expansion into the sub-continent. 

Proton also has made progress in China recently, with CKD assembly starting up last year after many years of delay.  Its original partnership, established in 2002 with Goldstar Heavy Industrial Co Ltd, proved unsuccessful – with the Chinese company unable to obtain a production licence from the Chinese government.

Proton Automobile China (PAC) Ltd earlier this year successfully terminated its joint venture contract with that company and has been freed of all obligations.

Tony Pugliese