Proton eyes India car production

Image caption, Proton wants sales growth in emerging markets

Malaysian car maker Proton has said it is in talks with an Indian automotive firm about making cars there.

The company wants to make small cars in collaboration with its UK subsidiary Lotus, which is best known as a sports car maker and engineering firm.

"Hopefully we can produce the car in less than two years," said Proton boss Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamad Tahir.

"It will be hybrid and combustion models."

The small five-door car with either a 1.0 litre or a 1.5 litre engine would be produced for sale in Asia and the Middle East.

The move should help Proton gain sales in fast-growing markets, including India.

"India is a very important market," said Mr Syed Zainal.

"We are talking to one party. I can't tell you who they are."

Proton, which is based in Shah Alam, Selangor, currently makes cars in its Malaysian factory in Tanjung Malim, Perak.

The company recently backed the return of Lotus to Formula 1 after an absence of 15 years.