smart and PROTON Sign MoA on Regional Partnership

(January 19, 2022, Hangzhou/Kuala Lumpur) Following the comprehensive renewal of its brand, products and business model, smart, the premium all-electric automotive technology brand, and Malaysia’s national automotivemanufacturer, PROTON, today officially signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to establish a regional partnership. The two parties are set to work closely together to develop the fast-growing potential of the Southeast Asian new energy vehicle (NEV) market. Meanwhile, with the support of Nanning Municipal Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, a gateway to ASEAN, smart has established a subsidiary company "smart Automobile Sales Co., Ltd.” to help the smart brand develop key Southeast Asian markets and strengthen the company’s global operations.

Regional partnership

Regional partnership


smart joins hands with PROTON to develop new business in Southeast Asia

Globally, the Southeast Asian market is a key area for economic growth. According to forecasts by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), by 2025, the number of NEVs in Southeast Asia will be close to 10 million in total. According to the details of the MoA, as a regional partner of smart, PROTON will establish a multi-level sales and service network for smart’s new generation of all-electric products in Thailand and Malaysia, providing local markets with premium sales and after-sales services.

Mr. Xiangbei Tong, Global Chief Executive Officer of smart Automobile Co., Ltd.

Mr. Xiangbei Tong, Global Chief Executive Officer of smart Automobile Co., Ltd.


Mr. Xiangbei Tong, Global Chief Executive Officer of smart Automobile Co., Ltd., said: “With smart’s ‘dual-home’ (Europe and China) business strategy, the company already covers two of the world’s largest automotive markets. Now, as part of our forward-looking strategy, we are joining hands with PROTON in Southeast Asia. With minimal investment, the agreement will allow us to enter the Thai and Malaysian markets in the near future. As our regional partner, PROTON has a first-class corporate reputation, extensive experience and valuable knowledge of local operations. We look forward to working together to provide consumers in Southeast Asia with a new premium, intelligent, all-electric driving experience.”

Dato’ Sri Syed Faisal Albar, Chairman of PROTON

Dato’ Sri Syed Faisal Albar, Chairman of PROTON


“With the signing of this MOA, PROTON is taking the first steps on its New Energy Vehicle strategic journey. By collaborating with smart, we will be able to gain experience in the selling, servicing, and charging of NEVs, and build up the skill sets we require to be a force in ASEAN’s rapidly expanding NEV sector,” said Dato’ Sri Syed Faisal Albar, Chairman of PROTON.


Capitalizing on the geographic advantages of the ASEAN gateway, smart Automobile Sales Co., Ltd. has been officially established in Nanning

The ASEAN "Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement" (RCEP), formally came into effect on January 1, 2022, marking the official opening of a free trade zone with the largest combined population, economy and trade scale, as well as the largest development potential in the world. smart Automobile Sales Co., Ltd., was established in Nanning to leverage the city as a gateway to ASEAN, which will serve as a comprehensive base for sales, marketing, after-sales, and export, creating new opportunities for cross-border business opportunities.

In 2021, smart comprehensively renewed its brand, products and business model. This year, the company’s first production of all-electric SUV will officially launch, representing the essence of the renewed smart brand by combining the technology of tomorrow with premium design. Going forward, smart will continue to innovate and devote itself to becoming one of the world's leading, premium all-electric automotive technology brands, joining hands with avant-garde trendsetters to design a smarter future together.


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PROTON Holdings Bhd. began as Malaysia's first national car project, founded with the aim to accelerate Malaysia's economic development and lay the foundations for the local automotive industry. In 2017, PROTON entered its next phase to be a modern and global automotive brand; through a partnership between its two principals, DRB-HICOM and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. Today, PROTON continues to delight its customers with cars anchored on its brand promise of “Inspiring Connections” and founded on its core values of always delivering innovative technology, reliability and international standards.