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Proton set for China link-up
John Griffiths

The first deal is expected to relate to an alliance with a Chinese carmaker. Azlan Hashim, Proton chairman, acknowledged that during the past few months the company had been talking to several potential Chinese partners about collaboration "with the potential to reach an early conclusion".
"We have been rethinking our future and have concluded that we need several strategic partners," he told the Financial Times.
"At one point, we had thought of forming an alliance with just one. But now we are looking for partners in multiple areas, whether for new products, components, market access or other activities."
In spite of China's car market and production over-capacity problems, and the relatively unsophisticated designed offerings from indigenous manufacturers, Mr Hashim predicted "China will have the last laugh" as a global automotive industry competitor.
"Already, China is on the cusp of exporting. The Chinese, just like the Koreans, will learn quickly. They will have cars right up there [competing with western producers] in 10 years' time," he said.
Proton's move follows the collapse of negotiations in January with Volkswagen as a potential single strategic partner. Mr Hashim gave no indication of how ventures into China or India, also a target for alliances, might be funded. Proton is state-owned and barely profitable.
FT Syndication Service