Proton dealers told to upgrade outlets

 |Feb 13, 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sdn Bhd (PONSB) has called on its dealers to upgrade their outlets between now and 2020.

It said the target for 2018 is to substantially increase the number of 3S (sales, service and spare parts) outlets nationwide to enhance overall customer experience with the introduction of new models this year.

“Currently the 3S/4S dealership nationwide is equivalent to only 30 per cent of our total dealerships, and 70 per cent are 1S (sales) facilities where the dealers only sell vehicles without offering any after-sales servicing.

“We recognise that a substantial sum of money needs to be spent by the dealers on this exercise. Therefore, we have introduced a special scheme that offers upfront support to assist dealers in upgrading to brand new premises,” it said in a statement yesterday.

The national carmaker said these dealers would also enjoy extra margins on cars sold for up to three years.

POBSB said in the past, Proton dealers enjoyed a 4 per cent margin based on a monthly volume of 40 units agreed with the company to qualify for their sales incentives.

It has revised the scheme by lowering the threshold to encourage overall business growth for dealers.

The scheme is in line with current challenges faced by dealers. The company will continue to monitor the situation to ensure business growth is achievable.

In addition, it said, a quarterly incentive scheme would be provided throughout the year where dealers can earn extra income by exceeding their sales targets, as well as state incentive support for on-ground activities by dealers.

Commenting on the Malaysian Association of Malay Vehicle Importers and Traders’ (Pekema) claim that Bumiputera dealers were working under pressure, PONSB said it acknowledged the tough challenges faced by them over the preceding years.

The national carmaker said since 2000, a decline in market share and sales volume had affected the company’s ability to finance its research and development activities, which led to the company falling behind its competitors in terms of technology and product competitiveness.

It also indirectly affected investments in developing the network, staff and manufacturing abilities of the company, it added.

In its efforts to address the decline, the national carmaker said it had tried various approaches ranging from platform-sharing with other brands to developing its own engines and transmissions to reduce dependence on imported parts.

“While these actions brought about positive results, none was able to arrest the continuing decline in sales and market share that was apparent in Malaysia, as well as in foreign markets.

“Therefore, the need for a foreign strategic partner quickly became more apparent if Proton wanted to stage a recovery to its former position at the head of the Malaysian automotive market.

“It would also help in our aspirations to grow the brand both locally and abroad, which is a key thrust for the future business plans of the company,” PONSB said. – Bernama