Proton opens new R&D centre in China – serves to upgrade homegrown models, EV development

Proton has opened its new R&D centre in China as part of its collaborative efforts with business partner Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely). The new facility, which is located within the Geely Automobile Research Institute at Hangzhou Bay, will complement Proton’s existing R&D facilities in Malaysia.


In an official release, the company said its R&D centre in China will strengthen its ability to conceptualise, design, develop and manufacture new vehicles by combining its in-house competencies with the resources and know-how that Geely can offer.


“Aspiring to mirror the success story of China Euro Vehicle Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, this latest development moves Proton’s R&D facilities in Malaysia closer to becoming the sixth in the Geely Group’s global network of R&D centres,” read the release.


Proton opens new R&D centre in China – serves to upgrade homegrown models, EV development


The new facility will have a workforce of 50 employees and covers top-hat and platform integration for internal combustion engine (ICE) and future electric vehicle (EV) models. This also includes the upgrading of Proton’s homegrown models, which are presumably the Saga, Persona and Iriz, as covered in a previous report.


In addition to vehicle development, Proton’s R&D centre in China will also serve as a platform to engage with vendors for the continuous development of the Automotive Hi-Tech Valley in Tanjong Malim, Perak, including focusing on full business life cycle areas such as quality, procurement, and manufacturing.


The new centre will have three departments, namely the Central Research Institute, Data Intelligence Development Centre as well as the R&D Digitisation Centre. The first is responsible for coordinating the R&D system for vehicles and to enhance Proton’s technology capabilities.


Proton opens new R&D centre in China – serves to upgrade homegrown models, EV development


Meanwhile, the Data Intelligence Development Centre covers research development and delivery of big data and artificial intelligence before formulating product deployment plans. Lastly, the R&D Digitisation Centre explores and manages the digitisation needs of the R&D system and formulating of strategies for digital transformation.


“We have witnessed the birth of a facility that allows us to work closer than ever with our partners and will inspire connections for years to come while helping to expand Proton’s global presence.,” said Li Chunrong, CEO of Proton.


“It is our hope this important milestone would enable us to move towards our goal of Proton becoming the sixth Geely Group R&D centre, while bolstering Proton’s existing capabilities that are already well established in Malaysia. We remain steadfast in our commitment to pushing boundaries, challenging the status quo, and making endless possibilities for the future of mobility,” he added.


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The post Proton opens new R&D centre in China – serves to upgrade homegrown models, EV development appeared first on Paul Tan’s Automotive News.


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