The Proton-VW talks have been an on-going debate for a few years now since the Tun Abdullah Badawi was the prime minister and since then, nothing had materialized. Both companies had already embarked into 2 rounds of talks with an almost-agreement state but eventually all of them fell through.
According to a business weekly, one of the issues being discussed is to explore the possibility of replacing the not so popular Proton Perdana with the Volkswagen Passat where it would be re-badged. In the last round of talks which was held last year, VW was supposed to start the partnership where they would be assembling VW models at Proton’s high-tech Tanjung Malim manufacturing plant but that did not happen.
VW will most likely not be taking any stakes in the national carmaker company where the partnership would most likely encompass a collaboration of platforms and engines only. This would be a stark contrast to the first round of talks when VW was supposed to own a stake in Proton a couple of years back. At the moment, DRB-HICOM Bhd is also holding talks with VW on a similar partnership where they are offering their Pekan manufacturing facilities to assembly VW cars.
Somehow the last round of negotiations did not quite work out where Proton is looking for a strategic partner and not looking into any sort of merger which will see them losing stakes in the company. It was reported a few months ago that VW is interested to use Malaysia as a sourcing hub for auto components to help fulfill its global production. On top of that, they are also looking to start assembling their cars in Malaysia. Recently Proton employed former VW and Daimler AG employee Heribert Keppler which looked like they were pretty serious about the partnership.