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Chery Seeking Cooperation with Proton
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Chinese automaker Chery is seeking cooperation with Malaysia's state-controlled automaker Proton in a bid to explore the Malaysian market, the Shanghai Securities News reported Thursday.


Chery plans to commission Proton to assemble two Chery models -- the B14 multi-purpose vehicle and the T11 cross-country vehicle-- for sale in Malaysia, said Tan Sri Cam Thiam Hong, executive chairman of Alado Corp., Chery's Malaysian distributor.


Negotiations were underway and would be completed within three months, he said, adding that Proton would assemble 50 to 60 Chery vehicles at the initial stage of the cooperation.


But he did not disclose whether the two models will be assembled under Chery's brand or Proton's.


Chery is expected to sell 2,000 vehicles -- including the A160,QQ, QQR and B140 -- in Malaysia this year and the Chinese automaker plans to put out new models to grab a larger market share.


The cooperation between Chery and Alado dates back to November 2004 when the automaker first attempted to enter the markets of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with the help of the Malaysian company.


Proton will help Chery explore the ASEAN markets and try to open the Chinese market through Chery, said the report.


The Anhui-based Chery was China's seventh largest automaker and fourth largest producer of sedans last year, with sales of 302,500 vehicles, including 272,400 sedan cars.


The company plans to double its exports this year, encouraged by last year's exports of 50,000 vehicles.


(Xinhua News Agency January 19, 2007)


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