Malaysia’s state-owned Proton has been linked with a number of international carmakers including the likes of General Motors, Volkswagen, and PSA Peugeot-Citroen for the past several years over the possibility of a tie-up, but one carmaker, Mitsubishi, has been working closely with Proton for more than two decades, licensing platform and engine technologies.

Mitsubishi has now announced that will extend this partnership, signing a contract with Proton covering the technology for, as well as the development and production of, a new Proton-branded vehicle. In addition, the contract will also grant a license to the Malaysian carmaker to build a new Mitsubishi vehicle based product.

Through this and other collaboration projects in the fields of development and production, Mitsubishi aims to expand its Malaysian business beyond the current export shipments of built-up cars from Japan. In return, financially crippled Proton will be able to expand its limited lineup at relatively low cost, while also raising the quality of its products and modernizing its plants.