Proton sends first group of staff for NEV training
PROTON has sent sixteen staff members to Hangzhou, China, for a six- month training stint to learn about new energy vehicles (NEV). The programme will see them based at the renowned Geely Research Institute at Ningbo and be trained in multiple disciplines involved in the development,integration, manufacturing, and sales and service for a new generation of vehicles that will gradually be introduced by the national automotive brand.
The members of the group are the first staffers to undergo NEV training and consist of a mix of experienced industry workers and young engineers who graduated from the company’s Young Talent programme. More will be sent in the future as PROTON leverages on the technical knowledge amassed by Geely to develop its own range of NEVs.
“When PROTON and Geely started collaborating in 2017, one of the pillars of the partnership was for PROTON to accelerate its model development timetable by incorporating technologies readily available from Geely. That has been successfully done and now, we are leveraging on the global experience of the group in NEVs to give our own model development timeline a boost.
“Our initial plan was for the programme to begin sooner but this was put on hold by the pandemic. However, with travel restrictions having eased recently, PROTON can now reap the benefit of being part of one of the most diverse and forward-thinking collective of automotive brands,” said Dr Li Chunrong, Chief Executive Officer, PROTON.
Investing in human capital to build better products for Malaysians
Aside from training the participants in various aspects of NEVs, the work attachment in China will aid in deciding the final specifications for products such as the smart #1, the first EV to be sold by PROTON’s NEV subsidiary PRO-NET that is due to arrive in Q4 2023. Because usage patterns and user behaviour differ from country to country, input from Proton staff will be vital to ensuring it meets the needs of Malaysian buyers.
Looking a little further ahead, these training programmes will help to strengthen collaborative efforts as PROTON staff get involved in multiple disciplines earlier in the development process to fine turn upcoming offerings to local market expectations. The ultimate goal however is for the acquisition of knowledge and new skills that will help steer the company’s future direction for years to come.
Prior to their departure on 10 December, each member of the group was given the opportunity to speak about their expectations and goals for the training programme to PROTON’s senior management during a send-off ceremony. For many, it would be their first time working in a foreign country, but all were excited by the opportunity presented and committed to sharing their experiences with co-workers when they returned.
“PROTON invests in knowledge acquisition for our staff as we believe it is the best way for the company to move forward. The experience and training they gain will not only benefit the company but indirectly, it will also help raise the skill level of Malaysia’s automotive industry as more staff members are sent for training. This is one of the reasons why PROTON was established, and the company is proud to be able to fulfil that aim,” added Li Chunrong.