Proton to Form Indian JV in 2010
According to Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir, the company's managing director speaking for just-auto.com, the main areas targeted by the group are either Mumbai or Chennai.
"We expect to finalise a joint venture agreement in early 2010, with assembly operations starting up 12-14 months later", he was quoted as saying by the source. "A Lotus Engineering design centre will be set up in either Chennai or Mumbai early next year".
"Local sourcing will allow us to reduce costs by 30% compared with importing parts from Malaysia. Also, setting up an R&D centre in India will allows us to do high-end engineering work cost-effectively."
Proton has big plans for British carmaker Lotus, as it recently announced its desire of releasing onto the market more Lotus badged vehicles than in present days.
"We believe Lotus' potential is in the branding. If you go across the globe, the brand recognition is very strong but we have not lived up to it," Mohamed Tahir said in early October.
Although Lotus cars will likely not be the only ones assembled in india, the new locations will likely become a center hub for the carmaker. As already announced, Lotus will continue to be at the center of Malaysia's national carmaker development strategy.