The partnership will see Proton Edar appointed as importer, distributor and dealer for Smart in Malaysia and Thailand
by FAYYADH JAAFAR / pic by TMR FILE
PROTON Edar, a wholly owned subsidiary of Proton Holdings Bhd, has signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with premium electric vehicle (EV) brand Smart Automobile Co to introduce the latter’s range of New Energy Vehicles (NEVs) into the Asean automotive market.
The MoA will see Proton Edar appointed as importer, distributor and dealer for Smart in Malaysia and Thailand.
Meanwhile, Smart Automobile (Nanning) Sales Co Ltd will fulfil the role of a gateway for Smart to the region.
The MoA with Proton Edar calls for the company to establish a multi-level sales and service network in Malaysia and Thailand, as well as a brand experience centre and a number of sales locations, providing local markets with sales and after-sales services for Smart vehicles.
Currently, there are no plans to collaborate beyond the tenets of the agreement.
The signing ceremony took place virtually, with Proton Edar CEO Roslan Abdullah and VP of Finance for Smart Ulf Nestler acting as signatories for their respective companies.
Also present to witness the event were Proton chairman Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar Syed AR Albar, Proton CEO Dr Li Chunrong and CEO of Smart Tong Xiangbei.
“With the signing of the MoA, Proton is taking its first steps on its NEVs strategic journey. By collaborating with Smart, we will be able to gain experience in the selling, servicing and charging of NEVs and build up the skill sets we require to be a force in Asean’s rapidly expanding NEV sector,” Syed Faisal Albar said.
“This is also an opportunity to tap into Smart’s customer base, which will open up more opportunities for the Proton brand.”
Tong, meanwhile, said with Smart’s “dual-home” (Europe and China) business strategy, the company already covers two of the world’s largest automotive markets.
“Now, as part of our forward-looking strategy, we are joining hands with Proton in South-East Asia (SEA). With minimal investment, the agreement will allow us to enter the Thai and Malaysian markets in the near future,” he said.
“As our regional partner, Proton has a first-class corporate reputation, extensive experience, and valuable knowledge of local operations. We look forward to working together to provide consumers in SEA with a new premium, intelligent, all-electric driving experience.”
According to forecasts by the International Renewable Energy Agency, the NEV market will grow to around 10 million units in SEA by 2025. With an all-electric new product portfolio due to be launched in the coming years, Smart will be well placed to take advantage of growth in the region.
Smart Automobile Co Ltd is a leading global manufacturer of premium EVs. The Smart brand was established in Nanning, Guangxi in China in 2015. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Smart Automobile Holdings, a listed company on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.