Mike Stevens | May 28, 2010

In the past 12 months, Volkswagen has taken control of Porsche, bought a share in Suzuki, and just last week wrapped up the acquisition of Italy's Italdesign. New reports this week indicate that Europe's largest carmaker, and the world's second-largest, is set to strike another deal.

While the details of the deal have not been revealed, Malaysia's Proton says it will soon announce the results of a possible alliance with Volkswagen.

Proton Chairman Mohamad Nadzmi Mohamad Salleh would not confirm whether the deal would involve equity or technical collaboration, although VW boss Martin Winterkorn said in an interview last year that Volkswagen is, for the time-being, finished with mergers.

"There are some who knock at our door. Some really want to come under our roof as they see we're on a good path strategically. But we are satisfied with the current line-up. I don't see any need [for new deals]," Prof Dr Winterkorn said at the time.

Looking to strengthen its position in Southeast Asia, Volkswagen had initially discussed an alliance with Proton in 2004, but an agreement at the time was not reached. A second attempt in 2007 also yielded no results.

Proton will be looking to make the most of Volkswagen's expertise and reach. Without a strategic partner, the small Malaysian company will struggle to grow on a global scale.

It is believed that Volkswagen is not the only company Proton has been discussing partnership opportunities with, and both Mitsubishi and Renault have been approached.

Gallery: the 2010 Proton Exora, set for an Australian debut in November.

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Filed under Volkswagen Proton News