Proton may enter into a collaboration with an Indian automobile firm, according to an Indian media report.

The company is also claiming a surge in collaborative interest from foreign automakers.

“Proton may also strike a partnership with an Indian car company,” Proton Chairman Datuk Nadzmi Mohd Salleh said in an interview to the Business Times.

“Proton is looking at something now (in India). We have to look at the bigger markets. If you look at India and China, you will never go wrong,” Nadzmi said.

Foreign carmakers are said to be approaching Proton and Nadzmi suggested that US and Japanese automakers are looking favourably at Proton’s position as their domestic markets come under increasing pressure.

In the interview Nadzmi also apparently suggested that a controlling stake in Proton could be sold to a foreign partner willing to enhance Proton’s long-term prospects.

However, another Proton official poured cold water on the idea that a controlling stake could be sold to a foreign partner or that it is under discussion.

“We continue to discuss with potential collaboration partners, the outcome of which as of today is too early to say. But the focus is always about technology collaboration and product collaboration,” Proton Managing Director Syed Zainal Abidin told reporters at a business forum.

He said Nadzmi was misquoted.

“We speak to many partners. As a car company today in a global industry we speak (to) people in Japan, in Europe, in America but that is discussion on products and on the ways on how we can collaborate,” Syed Zainal said.

“I think it is too early to say that we have made any decision. I think our chairman was misquoted,” he added.