Malaysian government says it is concerned about Proton dealers’ challenges: Report

Visitors at a Proton showroom.
Proton Facebook page

Malaysia’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry has expressed concern over the challenges face by dealers and vendors working with Proton, Bernama has reported.

According to Bernama, Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed intends to meet car dealers and vendors soon to discuss their business challenges.

This comes after Proton called for dealers to upgrade their sales centres in order to sell the carmaker’s latest Geely Boyue model, New Straits Times (NST) reported.

The Malaysian Association of Malay Vehicle Importers and Traders (Pekema) had repsonded saying its members needed more time to upgrade from sales-only centres to 3S (sales, service and spare parts) centres.

Pekema also said that Proton had strayed from the bumiputera agenda, and that the deadline placed pressure on Bumiputera distributors, as 85 per cent of them currently run sales-only centres.

A meeting scheduled for Wednesday (Feb 14) will see Pekema discuss this and other issues with its Bumiputera distributor members.

In response to the allegations, Proton released a statement saying that dealers are “encouraged to upgrade over a period stretching from 2018-2020”.

“Our target is to substantially increase the number of 3S outlets located nationwide, which will enhance overall customer experience with the introduction of our new models beginning 2018,” it said.

Proton said it offered dealers assistance to help them upgrade their sales centres.

Dealers will also be entitled to extra margins on cars sold for up to three years, up from the previous four per cent margin based on a monthly volume of 40 units.

“The improvements to the dealership network would be in line with the practice of other brands in Malaysia, where the majority of their dealers sell from 3S/4S outlets,” the company said.