Posted by SM Maulana
SHAH ALAM, June 25 (Bernama) – Proton Holdings Bhd is likely to benefit from the governments suggestion to standardise all taxis in the country with a Malaysian identity by 2010. Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Datuk Noh Omar Wednesday said the Cabinet has asked the ministry to discuss with Proton, requesting the national car producer to design and manufacture a taxi that portrays the image of the country.
He said this to reporters after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding here today between Proton and GIATMARA Sdn Bhd on the advancement of automotive training.
Noh said Proton has been also requested to look into solutions and alternatives that will cater to saving the use of petrol for the taxi.
“If Proton is able to do that, we can assure that the demand and sales for the taxis will always be there, he said, adding that there are currently 38,000 taxis operating in Peninsular Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Protons chairman, Mohammed Azlan said that Proton welcomed the governments suggestion to come out with a taxi which will have reflect the country’s identity.
“Proton will continue to look at the car that is required by the market place. We will do what is the best for the industry,” he said.
Azlan also confirmed that Proton will launch a taxi and car that are fitted with natural gas for vehicle (NGV)facility within this year.
“We have already started the project, where cars like Proton Saga, Waja and Wira as well as Persona will be fitted with NGV facility. So, it can use bi-fuel, petrol as well as NGV and also it would be cheaper as it is done in the factory,” he said.
The aim is not only for taxis to be fitted with NGV facility but also for cars for the Malaysian public, he said, adding that demand for NGV was rising following the increase in petrol price.
He said that the existing taxis were being fitted by NGV facility outside the factory and the cost was too high.
Meanwhile the MoU Wednesday will see Protons involvement and cooperation with GIATMARAs board of advisors in formulating its automotive training curriculum.
The car manufacturer will also share its automotive expertise and knowledge via lectures as well as providing practical training opportunities for GIATMARAs students.
The various arrangements for training and parts is expected to be in the region of RM1 million for a period of two years.