Economy, Auto

Proton Dissolves Dormant Subsidiary in Iran

Proton Dissolves Dormant Subsidiary in IranProton Dissolves Dormant Subsidiary in Iran

Malaysian industrial group DRB-Hicom Berhad, the owner of Proton Holding, has dissolved its subsidiary in Iran.

Proton Motor Pars Co. (PMP) was established in Iran in 2011. Proton’s parent company DRB-Hicom announced that “On Monday PMP was officially dissolved,” the Malaysian news website Star Online reported.

The company said PMP had been dormant since its incorporation in August 2011.

According to the company statement, it has no intention to carry on business or operations in Iran in the future. Official and reliable data is not available, but market-watchers are of the opinion that even during its heydays Proton did not sell well in Iran and the car was conspicuous by its absence on the roads across the country.

“Dissolution of PMP is part of the DRB-Hicom’s move to close down companies that are dormant or have ceased operations,” the group said.

This is while last year in December, the director of Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Wira Jalilah Baba, was reported as saying “Malaysia should intensify its presence in the Iranian market, including the automotive sector.”

She said, “Since Iran is opening its market to international businesses after the international sanctions have been eased, Malaysia should take action and be more pro-active in the country.” According to Jalilah Baba, Proton was planning to sell cars in Iran at that time.

The move by the Malaysian firm is in stark contrast with earlier reporters. Last October CEO of Proton visited Iran’s second automaker SAIPA in Tehran and hinted that the two companies “will sign a deal in the near future”.

During the visit Ahmad Fuaad met reporters and talked about the “upcoming” deal.  “SAIPA has the required infrastructure and the key factors that Proton seeks in a partner and further negotiations for forging a joint venture are underway,” he told a press conference.

Proton had a long history in Iran. The company used to have a production deal with Zagros Khodro. It is not certain why the company had a change of heart.

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