KUALA LUMPUR, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Malaysian national carmaker Proton has signed a general distributorship agreement with smart Automobile Co., Ltd. to sell electric vehicles (EVs) and provide services in Malaysia and Thailand.
At a ceremony witnessed by officials from various government agencies on Thursday, both sides paved the way for the introduction of new energy vehicles, the national carmaker said in a statement.
The first smart model to be sold by Proton during the first phase of the collaboration will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2023, the statement said.
Proton CEO Li Chunrong said the agreement marked a big step for the carmaker's entry into the new energy vehicle market.
The first phase of business with smart is focused on retailing, but it provides Proton with valuable knowledge and experience on not only how to service and charge EVs but also how to transform the way Proton interacts with their customers, said Li.
"The move into this market segment will also help drive Proton's move toward being more environmentally friendly in all facets of our operations as we work to help Malaysia achieve its carbon neutrality target by 2050," he said.
Proton works closely with Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. Their collaboration brought the popular X70 and X50 Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) into the Malaysian market.