As part of Proton’s business expansion plan, the national automaker is looking to increase the number of 3S/4S centres to 109 in preparation for the launch of its first-ever SUV model in Q4 2018.

Over the past three months, the company has received 170 applications from dealers or potential business partners looking to set up 3S/4S centres, with 82 of them, potentially approved for the upgrading exercise.

Up until now, 66 applications have been duly evaluated and approved, accounting for 61% of the 109-centre quota Proton has set. With this in mind, the automaker is confident to achieve its target for the dealers network upgrade exercise for 2018.

Looking forward, the company is set to introduce more models to be co-developed with Geely, and will continue executing its upgrade plan which consists of different phases until 2020.

Beyond upgrading its dealer network, Proton has also worked on improving its internal processes. This includes hiring experienced members of the automotive industry and sending its workforce to learn from its partner in China.

The automaker also focused on improving the overall quality of its products by adopting Geely’s product quality audit scoring system, itself an adaptation of the system used by Volvo Cars.

These efforts are just a few that are being done in anticipation of Proton’s upcoming SUV model, which will come with features like adaptive cruise control and an autonomous emergency braking system. Camouflaged units have also been displayed at various areas for the public to view, and there’s a well-received online naming survey as well.