Proton launches first 4s centre in Kota Kinabalu

Brand new: The Proton 4S dealership in Kota Kinabalu, the first of its kind in Malaysia.

PROTON Holdings Bhd has launched its first 4S (sales, service, spare parts and body and paint services) flagship dealership in Malaysia to meet rising customer demand, in tandem with soaring sales for the national automotive company’s cars.

Located on three acres of land, the RM16mil Kota Kinabalu outlet is launched today by the Sabah Chief Minister and boasts more than 15,000 sq ft of showroom area; 20,000 sq ft of service area; 14 vehicle display spaces; 18 service bays and 12 body paint bays. The outlet employs more than 100 people.

Chief executive officer Dr Li Chunrong said the new state-of-the-art facility is part of Proton’s long-term strategy to improve customer experience and boost competitiveness.

“We want to have an outlet where customers can get a full-fledged service. We currently have sixty 3S (sales, service and spare parts) outlets and forty 4s centres and the strategy going forward is to ensure that all of the centres are up to the latest standards, ” he tells StarBizWeek.

Li said thousands of man-hours are spent on training and developing its staff.

“We also push our dealers to undergo tests to ensure that they are up to standard, ” he says.

The new 4S centre is the third Proton dealership opened by Fook Loi Corp (Sabah) Sdn Bhd. The other two (3S) outlets are in Sandakan and Lahad Datu, which were launched in October 2018 and July 2019.

Fook Loi executive director Thomas Chiu said he sees great potential for the Proton brand in Sabah.

“The current range of Proton models is highly competitive and technologically advanced with features that appeal to the new generation of car buyers.

“We have also been highly enthused by the success of our two other dealerships which have recorded strong sales. Proton has also been very good as a partner as they have given us a lot of guidance and support in the process. We expect that with the flagship, we will see even better sales, ” says Chiu.

After a gap of 40 months, Proton has returned to second in total sales for Malaysia’s automotive market. In a recent statement, the national carmaker said

The last time the company was in a similar position was March 2016, while the last calendar year it finished in second was back in 2015.

“Sales of 8,590 units for July means the positive momentum for the year, has been carried forward for a seventh consecutive month making Proton, the only brand to achieve such a feat in 2019.

“Market share for the month is estimated at 16.5% with a total industry volume estimated at 51,960 units. Proton’s overall market share for the year is now estimated to be 15%, ” it says.

For the year, total sales now stand at 52,269 units compared to 35,561 for 2018, which equates to a 47% growth in overall year-on-year sales.

Li says the launch of the new Saga has been very well received by customers.

“We launched it barely a month ago and we have already received 6,000 bookings for the model, ” he says.

The Saga is still Proton’s best-selling model, while around 18,000 units of the company’s X70 sport utility vehicle has been delivered since its launch last December.

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