Hero to Shake Hands with Proton

Monday 12 October 2009, 00:00 AM by Satish Kalepu

Indian automobile manufacturer and one of India’s largest two-wheeler manufacturers Hero Group is ready to shake hands with Malaysia’s largest car manufacturer Proton for setting up an assembling venture. Proton is also in talks with Mahindra and Mahindra for manufacturing trucks and an Indian car but nothing is finalized as yet. Still, Proton is likely to have a joint venture with either of the two companies for manufacturing automobiles in India.

A delegation from Proton Holdings Bhd is expected to arrive in New Delhi later this month to finalize plans to form a joint venture with Hero Group. Hero Group's top executives had visited Proton's Shah Alam and Tanjung Malim plants and its car design subsidiary, Lotus in the United Kingdom. Sunil Kant Munjal, chairman of Hero Corporate Service Ltd said, "Proton came and met us earlier and there's nothing more to add."

Previously also Proton had tried to enter India in 1998 with a plan to set up a manufacturing facility, but was unsuccessful. This time the company is again trying to enter India with a JV. The discussions are going on since last three months between the companies. Proton plans a contract manufacturing and distribution agreement with a local partner as it needs a partner who is aware about and understands the Indian market.

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