CYBERJAYA, Feb 14 — The Malaysian Association of Malay Vehicle Importers and Traders (Pekema) has asked the government to allow approved permit (AP) fees accumulated in the Bumiputera Automotive Fund to be used as soft loans for Proton dealers to upgrade their outlets.
Pekema President, Datuk Zainuddin Abd Rahman, said since 2010, the fund, which collected RM10,000 for each AP, has reached RM3 billion.
“According to the terms of the fund, 20 per cent would be used to assist the Malaysia Automotive Institute to build capacity, 40 per cent would be for Pekema members to expand their businesses and the remaining 40 per cent to assist Bumiputeras involved in the motor vehicle industry.
“Therefore, Pekema proposes that 40 per cent of the RM3 billion, that is RM1.2 billion, to be disbursed to Proton dealers as soft loans at interest rates of not more than four per cent,” he told reporters at Wisma Yayasan Pekema here today.
Zainuddin said the proposal would be raised in tomorrow’s meeting between Proton dealers and Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
Prior to this, Proton instructed its dealers nationwide to upgrade their outlets by 2020 to 3S (sales, service and spare parts) centres to improve customer experience.
Currently, on 30 per cent of Proton outlets are at 3S/4S level, while the remaining 70 per cent are 1S (sales) outlets where dealers only sell vehicles without offering any other type of after sale services.
Last year, China’s Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd became Proton’s foreign strategic partner to strengthen the growth of the national car producer.
Geely and Proton are expected to launch their first sport-utility model, the Boyue, at the end of this year and only Proton 3S centres will be allowed to sell the new vehicle.
Concerning Geely, Zianuddin said, Pekema was not against the company.
“It is not because we (Pekema) do not support Geely. It has a good track record, such as growing Volvo until it reaches £1 billion (RM5.3 billion) profit, and Pekema believes Proton will be like Volvo in the future.
“Nevertheless, Geely needs to explain to Proton dealers on its aspirations. We hope Geely will not be too forceful or issue top-down instructions to dealers,” he added. — Bernama