German-Chinese Smart car brand to enter Malaysia, Thailand with electric vehicles

Smart Concept #1, an electric crossover presented last September

Smart Automobile, a joint venture of Chinese carmaker Geely and Germany’s Mercedes-Benz headquartered in Hangzhou, plans to sell China-built, Smart-badged electric vehicles in Southeast Asia, local media reported.

The cars, engineered by Geely, designed by Mercedes and manufactured in a purpose-built factory in Xi’an in central China, will be imported to and distributed in Malaysia and Thailand first by Proton Holdings, the Malaysian carmaker partly owned by Geely, according to an agreement signed by Proton and Smart Automobile.

Under the agreement, Proton will establish a multi-level sales and service network in Malaysia and Thailand, as well as “brand experience centers” for Smart, the company said, without disclosing further details about the partnership.

Access to the Southeast Asian market

Smart Automobile was formed in 2019 as a 50:50 partnership between Geely and Mercedes to develop a new model line of Smart-branded electric vehicles. Geely acquired a 49.9-per cent stake in Proton in 2017 from Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom in a bid to gain access to the Southeast Asia market.

Although Proton has yet to reveal a timeline for the introduction of the Smart brand, it is expected that it could be launched in Malaysia as early as this year to take advantage of the new full tax exemption for electric vehicles which will be granted until the end of 2023, followed by Thailand as soon as the sales infrastructure is in place.

Mercedes and Geely already introduced an electric crossover named Smart Concept #1 at the IAA MOBILITY auto show in Munich in September last year and said the first of its electric vehicles were expected to go on sale globally in 2022.



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[caption id="attachment_38157" align="alignleft" width="300"] Smart Concept #1, an electric crossover presented last September[/caption] Smart Automobile, a joint venture of Chinese carmaker Geely and Germany’s Mercedes-Benz headquartered in Hangzhou, plans to sell China-built, Smart-badged electric vehicles in Southeast Asia, local media reported. The cars, engineered by Geely, designed by Mercedes and manufactured in a purpose-built factory in Xi’an in central China, will be imported to and distributed in Malaysia and Thailand first by Proton Holdings, the Malaysian carmaker partly owned by Geely, according to an agreement signed by Proton and Smart Automobile. Under the agreement, Proton will establish a multi-level sales...

Smart Concept #1, an electric crossover presented last September

Smart Automobile, a joint venture of Chinese carmaker Geely and Germany’s Mercedes-Benz headquartered in Hangzhou, plans to sell China-built, Smart-badged electric vehicles in Southeast Asia, local media reported.

The cars, engineered by Geely, designed by Mercedes and manufactured in a purpose-built factory in Xi’an in central China, will be imported to and distributed in Malaysia and Thailand first by Proton Holdings, the Malaysian carmaker partly owned by Geely, according to an agreement signed by Proton and Smart Automobile.

Under the agreement, Proton will establish a multi-level sales and service network in Malaysia and Thailand, as well as “brand experience centers” for Smart, the company said, without disclosing further details about the partnership.

Access to the Southeast Asian market

Smart Automobile was formed in 2019 as a 50:50 partnership between Geely and Mercedes to develop a new model line of Smart-branded electric vehicles. Geely acquired a 49.9-per cent stake in Proton in 2017 from Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom in a bid to gain access to the Southeast Asia market.

Although Proton has yet to reveal a timeline for the introduction of the Smart brand, it is expected that it could be launched in Malaysia as early as this year to take advantage of the new full tax exemption for electric vehicles which will be granted until the end of 2023, followed by Thailand as soon as the sales infrastructure is in place.

Mercedes and Geely already introduced an electric crossover named Smart Concept #1 at the IAA MOBILITY auto show in Munich in September last year and said the first of its electric vehicles were expected to go on sale globally in 2022.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

 

 

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