Release AP fees to fund our upgrade, say Proton dealers

 |Feb 15, 2018

CYBERJAYA: The Malaysian Association of Malay Vehicle Importers and Traders (Pekema) has asked the government to allow approved permit (AP) fees accumulated in the Bumiputera Automotive Fund to be used as soft loans for Proton dealers to upgrade their outlets.

Pekema president Zainuddin Abd Rahman said since 2010, the fund, which collected RM10,000 for each AP, had reached RM3 billion.

“According to the terms of the fund, 20 per cent will be used to assist the Malaysia Automotive Institute to build capacity, 40 per cent will be for Pekema members to expand their businesses and the remaining 40 per cent to assist Bumiputeras involved in the motor vehicle industry.

“Therefore, Pekema proposes that 40 per cent of the RM3 billion, that is RM1.2 billion, be disbursed to Proton dealers as soft loans at interest rates of not more than 4 per cent,” he told reporters at Wisma Yayasan Pekema here yesterday.

Zainuddin said the proposal would be raised during the meeting between Proton dealers and International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed, slated for the next day.

Proton has instructed its dealers nationwide to upgrade their outlets by 2020 to 3S (sales, service and spare parts) centres to improve customer experience.

Currently, 30 per cent of Proton outlets are at 3S/4S level, while the remaining 70 per cent are 1S (sales) outlets where dealers only sell vehicles without offering other after-sales services.

Last year, China’s Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd inked an agreement to become Proton’s foreign strategic partner.

Geely and Proton are expected to launch their first sport-utility model, the Boyue, at the end of this year. Only Proton 3S centres will be allowed to sell the new model.

Zainuddin said Pekema was not against Geely.

“It is not because we (Pekema) do not support Geely. It has a good track record, such as growing Volvo until it reached £1 billion (RM5.43 billion) profit, and Pekema believes Proton will be like Volvo in the future.

“Nevertheless, Geely needs to explain its aspirations to Proton dealers. We hope Geely will not be too forceful or issue top-down instructions to dealers,” he said. – Bernama