Proton hiring new team for smart EV project in Malaysia

In January this year, it was announced that Proton Edar would be the appointed importer, distributor and dealer for the smart brand in Malaysia and Thailand. This is after Proton entered into an agreement with smart Automobile, with the former saying at the time that the move marked its first steps on its New Energy Vehicle (NEV) strategic journey.

To support its NEV plans, Proton is creating a new team and has put out a call for talent on its official LinkedIn page. The list of vacancies is rather large and covers the areas of product management, sales and aftersales marketing, support as well as information technology (IT).

“We’re ready to start our journey into the New Energy Vehicle (NEV) segment and we want you to come along with us. Be a part of the team that forms Proton’s NEV strategy, formulate marketing plans, sell to a whole new segment of customers, and deliver premium service for a range of vehicles that will firmly put the brand at the forefront of the segment. We will also be selling the latest EV models from smart and will need people who understand how to work in a distributorship business,” the company wrote in its caption.

The smart #1 will be one of the vehicles sold in Malaysia and Thailand, although it isn’t known when an official launch will take place. Revealed earlier this month, the #1 is built on Geely’s SEA2 platform and takes the form of a crossover that measures 4,270 mm long, 1,822 mm wide and 1,636 mm tall, with a 2,750 mm wheelbase.

For some context, the #1 has a shorter overall length compared to the X50 which is 4,330 mm long, but is wider (+22 mm), taller (+27 mm) and has a more substantial wheelbase (+150 mm). The smart EV will initially be offered with a rear-mounted electric motor rated at 272 PS (268 hp or 200 kW) and 343 Nm of torque, along with a 66-kWh lithium-ion battery that is good for up to 440 km of range following the WLTP standard.

The #1 accepts up to 22 kW of AC charging power, which can fill the battery from 10% to 80% in under three hours. With a DC fast charger that has an output of up to 150 kW, topping up the battery takes less than 30 minutes. Future smart models should also come our way, including a performance version of the #1 (reportedly branded as a Brabus) sighted a few days after the #1’s global debut.

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