Like it or not, a car’s resale value plays a big role in the purchasing decisions of most Malaysians, and Proton is looking to improve the standing of its vehicles in the marketplace by expanding its Used Car Management (UCM) network for trade-ins.

Proton created the new division last year to support the selling of new cars by helping customers to dispose of their used vehicles. This division started as a pilot project involving eight outlets, initially focused on establishing operating procedures and training used-car inspectors who would manage transactions at each outlet. This year, the company aims to expand the network to 36 3S and 4S centres nationwide.

The target is currently for replacement sales, in which a customer trades in a used Proton model for a new one, to account for at least 10% of all sales at these outlets. Proton has also established programmes like Proton Xchange, designed to encourage current owners to upgrade, to help it achieve that goal.

These used vehicles will be sold under the Proton Certified Pre-Owned (PCPO) banner, which includes a 201-point inspection and a guarantee that the car does not carry any flood or major accident structural damage. The cars also get a one-year extended warranty covering the engine and transmission and are eligible for a one-time free service (engine oil and oil filter only) up to six months after registration.

“In the future, UCM will set up a dedicated Proton used car portal with an online selling platform to attract tech-savvy used car buyers. Potential customers will be able to view our stock remotely, and they can also browse the website to get estimated valuations for their current cars,” said UCM head Brian Cheah.

Despite still being in its infancy, UCM has apparently already had a positive impact on sales. “We started the UCM program in October 2019, and it has helped our Sales Advisors to close deals as we can now offer competitive trade-in value for used Proton cars,” said Ryan Lai, managing director of LHM One Stop Car Service Centre in Nilai.

Judith Yam, managing director of Atiara Johan in Puchong, said: “Atiara Johan was selected as the first authorised Proton UCM outlet in June 2019. Since it was established, it has boosted our sales by offering special incentives for customers who are current Proton owners. To date, we have recorded over 130 trade-in transactions with our customers expressing satisfaction for what they see as a value-added service that allows them to easily purchase a new Proton.”