Third national car project was supposed to be launched December this year

TTF: Plans to launch the third national car project by 2020 (see news item below) came as a surprise to us here at The Third Force.

The original plan was for the project to be launched in December 2018 with Geely being offered a 20% stake.

In return, Geely was expected to divest itself of 15% of its stake in Proton to Yinson Holdings Berhad, an oil and gas service provider that has Dato’ Mokhzani Mahathir listed as a major shareholder.

The plan was thwarted following Daim Zainuddin’s failed attempt at sealing off a blanket agreement with China’s State Council to venture with Malaysia in infrastructure related projects worth some RM200 billion.

The failure followed raids conducted by the MACC on two Chinese state-owned entities moments before Daim’s scheduled meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is set to launch the national car project 3.0 by 2020 as envisioned by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad.

Entrepreneur Development Minister Mohd Redzuan Yusof said the current government believed that the move could revitalise the national automotive industry.

“We attempt to revive and grow the industry due to its tremendous potential. Besides, auto component manufacturing is also one of the sectors that drives small and medium enterprises (SMEs),” he told reporters on the sidelines of the TOC Automotive College Convocation Ceremony here, today.

Earlier in his speech, Mohd Redzuan said the government needed the support of the industry, as well as knowledge, skilled and talented graduates to succeed the dream.

“In the past, we tried to grow the automotive industry by creating our own car, but obviously, we need to work on the timeline.

“This had put a lot of challenges that we see today where Proton has been compromised,” he said.

Hence, Mohd Redzuan said the government would refine and improve from “what and where went wrong” (in Proton).

Dr Mahathir reaffirmed his aspiration of building the third national car project during his visit to Japan in June after the Pakatan Harapan won the 14th general election (GE14) on May 9 this year.

The Prime Minister was reported as saying that the government was looking at building the national car 3.0 after Proton and Perodua, as his brainchild, Proton forged a strategic partnership with China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co (Geely) in May, last year.

Mohd Redzuan said the government could also be the facilitator for automotive graduates to undergo job training in Japan.

“We are more than happy to facilitate and we have automotive counterparts in Japan who are willing to accept our graduates for job training there,” he said, adding that the move could help the local automotive industry thrive and become more resilient, especially in the car component manufacturing sector.

The automotive sector contributed four per cent to the country’s gross domestic product in 2017.

Source: The Malay Mail Online

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