National Carmakers Proton is building the momentum on the much-hyped, soon-to-be-launched SUV; the first model to be introduced in partnership with new major shareholders and Chinese Automakers Geely.
Thus far, the company has been initiating numerous activities internally to ensure a successful turnaround in a short time (or medium term). With the new partnership comes renewed hope and efforts are centered around uplifting its brand value whilst intensifying efforts to achieve its goal to have 109 3S/4S centers as part of a 180o approach in fulfilling customer satisfaction and ownership experience. This is also to prepare the network for the first Proton SUV, a premium segment offering, which will be launched in Q4 2018. The new Proton SUV is hyped up to be, like previous Protons, very contemporary featuring all latest knick-knacks like smart voice recognition, 360-degree 3D camera and a host of safety features, like adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency brake assist, just to name a few.
To build pre-launch interest and heighten anticipation of new vehicle’s arrival, vehicles from the test fleet are driven to selected outlets and vendors every week to enable members of the public to get a closer look. Other on-ground efforts include the announcement of an online naming survey.
Proton: 61% quota fulfilled for network upgrade
The first of many future models to be co-developed with Geely will be sold from outlets delivering a better-than-usual experience. Within 3 months of Proton announcing a one-of-its-kind scheme for dealers to upgrade or new investors to build 3S/4S centwes, the National make has received 170 applications, with 82 of them, potentially approved for the upgrading exercise.
To date, 66 applications have been duly evaluated and approved with the rest of them being thoroughly reviewed to ensure adherence to set requirements and criteria.
Proton’s internal re-structuring
Following the commencement of the collaboration with Geely, Proton took a deep breath from further plunge and focused on optimizing its core structure. They also went on manhunt for people who’re experienced in the industry.
With the appointments of experienced members of the automotive industry to key global senior management positions, Proton put in place initiatives that would look into eight critical areas to provide a holistic outcome to the turnaround process.
One of the major initiatives undertaken was to enhance the overall product quality of the current range of Proton models (which is easier said than done). The adoption of Geely’s product quality audit scoring system, itself an adaptation of the system used by Volvo Cars, has helped to identify issues and resulted in a strengthening of audit scores across all models.
Learning from Geely
Proton continues to send teams of its own skilled workforce to learn from its partner in China for a more integrated adoption of good corporate culture and to expand their knowledge and skills in their respective areas.