The Indian car market is attracting a number of foreign manufacturers, the Malaysian national car maker Proton Holdings Bhd is one of them. The company is soon going to tie up with Hindustan Motors (HM) to assemble cars for them under a contract manufacturing agreement.
The decision and other details regarding the Protons and Hindustan Motors deal will be announced by the end of February. The HM’s Chennai plant currently assembles Mitsubishi Lancer and Proton is in talks to use the plant to locally produce the company’s multi-purpose vehicle Exora. HM also have plants in in Uttarpara and Indore that could be used. Apart from its vehicle Exora HM is interested in sourcing engine and transmission systems from HM’s group company Avtec.
BVR Subbu, director on the Proton board told a leading English daily, “It’s true Proton has been speaking to some Indian manufacturers but I would not like to comment on the matter.”
According to reports in the Malaysian media the Protonis likely to launch the Saga, Persona, Exora and Emas hybrid models in India. The reports suggest that Proton is likely to use the expertise of a local Indian company and this quarter will see the final announcement take place. Apart from HM Proton has been in talks with Mahindra and Mahindra, Hero group and Argentum Motors.
Initially Proton is likely to make very small investment on an assembly operation to keep costs in check. According to the Malaysian media Proton could also tie up with Renault for diesel engines as diesel vehicles form a major chunk of the total sales in the country.