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September 11, 2009

MALAYSIA: VW and Proton again in talks – paper

Malaysian national carmaker Proton Holdings is in partnership talks with Volkswagen, according to media reports.

Malaysian national carmaker Proton Holdings is in partnership talks with Volkswagen, according to media reports.

The country’s Star newspaper said partnership talks were not centred around VW taking a stake in Proton but on a car assembly deal. The two companies are considering having the Malaysian carmaker assemble Volkswagen vehicles at its plant in Tanjung Malim in northeastern Perak state, said the report.

The Star report followed an earlier story that said VW was talking to Chevrolet distributor DRB-Hicom about distribution and possible local assembly of its cars.

Officials from both Proton and Volkswagen were not immediately available for comment but VW has previously been in talks with the Malaysian government, the controlling shareholder of Proton, to take up a stake in the carmaker. These collapsed in 2007 for undisclosed reasons.

Shares in Proton rose 17% in the past week on speculation that the company, which has seen its market share shrinking in the last few years, was close to securing a foreign partner.

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