Volkswagen is on a buying spree as of late. With plans to beat Toyota to become the world’s largest car maker by 2018, the German company has in recent months taken a 19.9 percent stake in Suzuki as well as a 90 percent firm hold of Italdesign. It also happens to own Skoda, SEAT, Bugatti, Porsche, Lamborghini and of course Audi.
The next move may indeed be a partnership with Malaysian carmaker Proton. According to a report in the Malaysian Edge Financial Daily, Proton’s chairman has hinted at a possible partnership with Volkswagen.
“The outcome of the talks with Volkswagen will be made public in two weeks time. I don’t want to jump the gun,” Mohd Nazmi Mohd Salleh told the company’s annual meeting.
Volkswagen previously tried to buy equity in the Malaysian manufacturer but talks failed in 2007 over complications. Proton, which is owned by the Malaysian government, holds an advantage in its home market thanks to tariff controls that make foreign cars significantly more expensive than it’s local product.
“With reference to Malaysia, there are no concrete developments or agreements. We cannot confirm any statements to the contrary.” Volkswagen Spokesman told AutoNews regarding the potential deal.
Whether or not there will be any equity transfer is still uncertain, however there is potential for Proton to make use of its spare capacity to assemble Volkswagen cars for the Malaysian market.