Proton’s quest to reinvent itself includes the introduction of brand-new products, starting with the 2016 Proton Perdana, with others models set to follow. While new products are certainly welcomed, ensuring the total customer experience (sales, after-sales and service) remains an important factor.

As such, Proton has already begun the process of restructuring its outlets to become either one of three premium models – 4S, 3S or 1S+2S. According to Datuk Abdul Harith Abdullah, CEO of Proton, it is now a case of “quality over quantity” for Proton.

This process of overhauling its service network will involve a significant amount of transformation on Proton’s part. “There will be no more new 2S centres just to add quantity. We want proper 4S or 3S management, and for areas where 4S/3S centres can’t be set up, we will do a 1+2S,” said Harith.

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“When you sell a car, you’re responsible to manage the car, to the point where the customers would then consider buying a new Proton car instead of from other brands.

“Previously, we’ve had recalcitrant 1S dealers, where even the PDI checks were not done properly. So from now on, we will only do 4S, 3S or 1S+2S. We will also have audit teams going out to check if all dealers out there meet our new KPIs,” he explained.

“Out of our 400 outlets, 121 will be premium outlets, which are able to provide the new level of experience that we want to achieve. The rest, they either change, or go out,” he added.

To go hand-in-hand with the upgraded service network, Proton will also encourage customers to return to its certified centres for any after-sale needs. This can be done via a direct appointment or its call centre, where reminders will be provided in the lead-up to the service date.

Additionally, selected service centres will be open seven days a week, with Proton’s Centre of Service Excellence in USJ being the first to do so under a pilot programme. Since then, more Proton Edar outlets in the Klang Valley have subsequently done so. Today, the programme has been expanded to 49 outlets nationwide. Selected outlets will also carry insurance and road tax renewal services as well.