Proton Holdings last week began construction of a new stamping shop at its vehicle assembly plant in Tanjung Malim, 70km (40 miles) north of Kuala Lumpur.

The automaker held a groundbreaking ceremony for the MYR200m (US$49m) press shop which the company said would help it increase the “level of localization for both current and future models”.

The new building will house a new “super large” press machine that will improve the company’s stamping capabilities to include much larger body panels and other parts.

The company said in a statement the investment was part of its growth strategy and for future production planning. The new stamping machine would allow for the manufacturing of more model lines.

Proton CEO Li Chunrong said: “This new addition is part of our strategy to ensure that we can grow continuously as well as increase our model footprint when we have to. This means having the ability to build more variants but more importantly to be able to build them to the highest standards as well as to incorporate new technology.”

Proton’s new product plans have been closely aligned with those of its strategic shareholder, Zhejiang Geely Holding, since it acquired a 49.9% stake in the Malaysian automaker in 2017.