Proton has announced that four of its dealers will be upgrading to 3S and 4S centres. As part of the national carmaker’s first Dealer Network Upgrade agreement, these outlets, including Baiduri Auto, Bunga Raya Auto Credit, Setia Gemilang Auto and Vantage Speed, will become one-stop centres with services such as sales offices, aftersales services, parts sales and body and paint services.

The new sales and service centres will have a new look and feel, as most of them would have been upgraded from 1S and 2S centres. Proton says upon upgrading, renovation and relocation, the new outlets – which will reflect the brand’s new image – will enable a more efficient service and an enhanced customer experience, as they prepare for the introduction of the company’s first SUV later this year.

“Proton should not only sell cars but also provide quality services to our customers as providing a first class customer experience is utmost important to our company and brand,” said Proton CEO Li Chunrong. “At the same time we want to make the upgraded outlets look more refreshing and modern. We want you, the customers, to walk in to a Proton showroom and feel important. We also want you to feel comfortable while waiting for your car to be serviced or when you shop around for a new Proton car.”

Setia Gemilang director Andrew Quek explained how his dealership will benefit from the upgrade. “The renovation of our upgraded outlets will most likely be completed by the second quarter of 2018,” he said. “By then we will have a luxurious showroom which can accommodate 11 display cars, 14 service hoists, 10 body and paint bays, 30 customer parking lots as well as a new lounge area.”

Bunga Raya Auto Credit managing director Lee Chee Hong said that the company’s confidence in the Proton brand persuaded it to upgrade from a 1S+2S centre to a 3S centre. “The decision to upgrade is based on the confidence in the future roadmap and potential of Proton,” he said. “We strongly believe that Proton products will be of premium quality with an excellent positioning in the Malaysian automotive market, and our commitment is to deliver excellent customer experience.”

Baiduri Auto’s Aref Borhan said that an upgrade was needed because the current 1S+2S centre was not customer-centric. “Customers are always left wandering and searching where to go the moment they have a service need,” he said. “There was no proper follow-up, advice and support given to customers. This was made worse by delays in solving complaints and issues which resulted in frustrations, and these weaknesses can mainly only be solved if we have a 4S centre. It is time we put our past behind us and move forward.”

Lastly, Vantage Speed director Datuk Seri Tee Boon Kee said, “With the growth of our business, we find that it is imperative to offer a one-stop solution under one roof to our customers. This will enhance the confidence of our customers from the point of deciding to purchase a Proton car and to maintain this investment for years to come. With the full range of service under one roof, we aim to enhance customer service and excellent experience of owning a Proton car.”

An incentive support scheme, claimed to be the best offered in the Malaysian automotive industry, has been put in place to encourage dealers to upgrade their facilities. The company stated that more such upgrades by existing dealers are in the pipeline, and the scheme is also open to those wishing to join the Proton dealer network. This upgrade and expansion is one of the new guidelines of Proton’s business expansion plan.

“To expand our business we need partners who are serious to sell our cars,” said Li. “We are in this business for long term and we place great interest to keep our customers happy and satisfied. We also understand that to succeed, you need equally good business proposals and monetary support, hence the incentive support scheme by Proton is one of its kind in the market being offered to those who plan to expand or upgrade their dealership business to 3S and 4S centres respectively.”