malaysia

Proton hits back at claims of discrimination against Bumiputera dealers

The Malaysian Association of Malay Vehicle Importers and Traders (Pekema) yesterday alleged that Bumiputera distributors are facing subtle discrimination and may soon be replaced by non-Bumiputera distributors. — Reuters picThe Malaysian Association of Malay Vehicle Importers and Traders (Pekema) yesterday alleged that Bumiputera distributors are facing subtle discrimination and may soon be replaced by non-Bumiputera distributors. — Reuters picKUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 — Proton Holdings Berhad has responded to claims that their Bumiputera distributors faced discrimination by saying the improvement of the dealership’s network was part of its turnaround plan.

The Malaysian Association of Malay Vehicle Importers and Traders (Pekema) yesterday alleged that Bumiputera distributors are facing subtle discrimination and may soon be replaced by non-Bumiputera distributors.

Proton said although the company has faced challenges since 2000, it has still provided considerable support to existing dealers.

“With regards to the lack of time given to dealers to upgrade their 1S (sales only) outlets to 3S/4S (sales, service and spare parts) outlets 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 in a statement.

It added the current 3S/4S dealerships nationwide are equivalent to only 30 per cent of the automobile’s total dealership.

The statement said the need for more 3S/4S outlet was necessary as the company’s Sales Satisfaction Index and Customer Satisfaction Index scores have suffered as compared to other automotive players.

Proton said a special support scheme for dealers to upgrade to brand-new premises was introduced to reach that objective.

“These dealers will enjoy extra margins on cars sold for up to three years, while in the past dealers only enjoyed a four per cent margin based on a monthly volume of 40 units to qualify for sales incentives.

“We have now revised the scheme by lowering the threshold to encourage overall business growth for our dealers,” it added.

The statement also said that the company offered an extension period up to 60 days subject to terms and conditions that provided dealers a stipulated credit term.

“Dealers will have additional time to move their current stocks without worrying about their accounts being blocked and it helps in managing cash flow,” it said.

On the issue of unhealthy competition between dealers raised by Pekema, Proton reiterated that it was guided by the laws and regulations such as the Anti-Competition Act.

It said ultimately all dealers would have the opportunity to sell the new CBU Boyue SUV slated to be launched by the end of the year if requirements were fulfilled with 1S outlets able to do so at their closest 3S/4S outlet.

“Proton reiterates its intention is to prosper instead of to burden the dealers,” the statement said.

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