The Malaysian Association of Malay Vehicle Importers and Traders (Pekema) president Datuk Zainuddin Abd Rahman says while Pekema fully supports Proton’s collaboration with Geely, its concern is to ensure that the Bumiputera agenda remains a priority under the new management. NST picture

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Association of Malay Vehicle Importers and Traders (Pekema) said its members need more time to upgrade from a 1S centre to 3S (sales, service and spare parts) centre.

Proton has set a deadline of October this year for dealers to upgrade their centres if they want to sell its latest model, the Geely Boyue, which will be launched later this year.

In a statement, Pekema president Datuk Zainuddin Abd Rahman said although having 3S centres is good for the long-term, the directive and close deadline is causing pressure on Bumiputera distributors, as 85 per cent of them currently only have 1S centres.

“For the upgrade alone, they need to invest between RM3-5 million at a time when they only sell an average of 20-30 Proton cars a month,” he said.

He said automotive companies should be given ample time to improve their sales, despite the current lacklustre automotive market, before directing them to upgrade to 3S centre.

Citing Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd’s achievement last year, Zainuddin claimed the majority of Perodua’s success was achieved through both 1S and 3S centre sales.

"This shows that the 1S concept still can contribute to the successful sales of a company, without needing all sales representatives to be 3S," he said.

In the statement, Zainuddin also highlighted other issues faced by its members since Proton formed a partnership with Geely. These include the reduction in dealers’ margins, charges and interest for unsold cars, and Proton’s plan to end its Payment After Registration (PAR) scheme.

Zainuddin said Pekema would meet with all Bumiputera Proton dealers at Wisma Pekama in Cyberjaya today (February 14) to further hear out their grouses.

He said Pekema welcomes Geely as Proton’s strategic partner and hopes the collaboration can successfully revive Proton as a proud Malaysian national carmaker.

Zainuddin said while Pekema fully supports Proton’s collaboration with Geely, its concern is to ensure that the Bumiputera agenda remains a priority under the new management.

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