Proton, Honda Announce Collaboration In Malaysia

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
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proton honda announce collaboration in malaysia

Ahead of their crucial announcement outlining the future of Proton, parent company DRB-Hicom (also of Lotus fame) has announced that they will partner with Honda, after a long courtship process that involved numerous auto makers.

An official announcement from DRB-Hicom outlined the partnership agreement

Under the Agreement, PROTON and HONDA MOTOR will explore collaboration opportunities in the areas of technology enhancement, new product line up, platform and facilities’ sharing (“Proposed Collaboration”).

No announcement has come from Honda so far, and the words “joint venture” and “Malaysia” are conspicuously absent, leaving us at the mercy of our collective imagination. Are Lotus-tuned Acuras on the horizon? More likely is the prospect of Honda technology making its way into small cars that can eventually be exported to countries like Australia. And what about low-cost cars, a segment Honda is absent from entirely? Could there be synergy with Proton somehow? Only time will tell.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Th009 Th009 on Oct 30, 2012

    Key snippets from the announcement, caps mine: "... will EXPLORE collaboration ...", "... signifies the POTENTIAL ...", "... OPPORTUNITIES are endless ...". Basically Honda and DRB-Hicom have agreed to talk, it looks like there is nothing more concrete to it at this point.

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    • Th009 Th009 on Oct 30, 2012

      @L'avventura Agreed. So far all of Proton's attempts at a tie-up have ended prematurely as they have wanted to have their cake and eat it, too. I can't imagine who would hand over their technology to Proton without a majority stake.

  • Blowfish Blowfish on Oct 30, 2012

    have proton unloaded lotus already?

  • Stuntmonkey Stuntmonkey on Oct 30, 2012

    Hint at Honda in F-1 powering Lotus? That would be interesting. Renault gets enough with Red Bull, the glory of the Benetton/Renault Racing days are over. (Except that Lotus has Kimi!) Also, it's nice to see the old turbo Lotus in pictures again, but that's Nakajima's car; Senna had the number 12.

    • Victor Victor on Oct 30, 2012

      That's indeed Nakagiima's. It's a 1988 Lotus 100T. #1 was Nelson Piquet's. Joe Saward posted earlier today something about Proton buying Enstone's F1 outfit, previously known as Toleman/Benetton/Renault and now called Lotus F1. Maybe they are onto something. The Lotus 100T was a failure that destroyed Piquet's chances to defend his title against the Mclarens. It was the beginnig of Team Lotus debacle. Its presence in a post talking about a Proton and Honda deal amuses me.