GM South East Asia is planning to introduce a programme called Chevrolet Certified Used Car in Malaysia, as part of its plans to help elevate the used car value of Chevy vehicles here, according the the company’s SEA president Martin Apfel.

Having used Thailand as a successful test bed for the programme, the initiative is set to make its way to Malaysia, with the company already working at identifying the appropriate outlets to act as the pilot for the programme.

“What the programme does is that it allows dealers to take in used cars, any brands but largely Chevrolet, and then to sell on the car after it has gone through our battery of checks. This in turn has helped to lift the resale value of the vehicles because it gives people the confidence that there will be a buyer for their car when they want to sell it and the dealer is interested in taking it in, because for him it’s good business and we’ve got the data for that,” Apfel said.

“We’ve used Thailand as the test-bed for something that’s called ‘Chevy Certified Used Car’, and we now have more than 30 outlets that operate that distinct line of business. We’re looking at expanding the business to 60 outlets by the end of the year,” he added.

In Malaysia, Apfel said that the plan is to have around 10 such outlets by the end of this year. “We know it works, but we need to pace it as it’s a special facility and therefore requires a bit of work, as we need to train the staff. You don’t want to be the used-car salesman from around the corner, as there is a specific service and a specific guarantee we give on the car that is sold out of the ‘Chevy Certified Used Car’ programme. That, in turn, will give customers more confidence in the resale value,” he explained.

The company is also planning to test a number of other initiatives for Chevrolet customers in Malaysia, in an effort to keep ownership costs predictable and low. One of these will concentrate on maintenance, where assistance will be extended to Naza Quest to help keep parts prices affordable.

“We have done extensive work in all the countries in ASEAN and also in competitive research to make sure we are competitively priced with the competition. The goal is to be on par with the market leader. We have a very competitive cost of ownership in Malaysia and though we haven’t done price benchmarking yet, based on a four-month observation, many fast moving items are competitively priced, which goes against the consumer perception that Chevrolet’s are expensive,” he said.

“People in ASEAN have a budget in mind when they start shopping and purchasing, so you’ve got to fit in there. If you’re unpredictable in the marketing funnel between awareness and consideration, you’re going to go very thin when it comes to purchase intention.”