SHAH ALAM: Proton Holdings Bhd will undergo a total overhaul in the way it runs its business. It must do this to increase sales and make the company more competitive, said managing director Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir.
Syed Zainal Abidin, who briefed the media yesterday after 100 days as the top executive of the national car company, said the revamp of Proton was to win back the consumers, improve productivity, lower costs and ultimately boost sales.
“We cannot make any more mistakes,” he said at the briefing that outlined Proton’s multi-pronged strategy for its future.
Number one on Syed Zainal Abidin’s to-do list is to improve the quality of Proton cars, an issue that has not only been a thorn for Proton but also for many of its car owners.
The division that looked after the quality of Proton cars will no longer fall under the control of the factory but will report directly to him.
Proton will also be sending at least 50 of its technical staff to dealers and service centres in various parts of the country to get feedback from customers.
In product development, Proton will now abandon its “silo” approach to building cars so that the good and bad experiences can be shared across all platforms.
Syed Zainal Abidin said Proton would be building new cars – a mix of its own and those in collaboration with other car makers – which would replace some of Proton’s existing models and would use customer feedback in building cars that the people want instead of what the company feels they should drive.
“Some of the models have been on the road for too long,” he conceded.
Proton is also working with its unit Lotus to build a car within the RM100,000 range in Malaysia.
To cut costs and improve productivity, Syed Zainal Abidin said the appointment of vendors would be done via a committee and purchasing by Proton would also be streamlined.
Proton currently has 14 logistics providers and that number will be cut to a maximum of three while the number of vendors Proton will directly deal with will be reduced to between 20 and 30.
Apart from that, Proton will also reduce the 1,700 third party suppliers of raw materials and other non-automotive components and go directly to the source.
“This is to minimise transactions that don’t create any value for the company,” he said, adding that bulk purchases would be done for both Proton and its vendors.
In terms of improving sales domestically, Proton will begin to engage the man in the street in a more active manner. Delivery of cars will be done at the client’s convenience.
Syed Zainal Abidin said Proton would organise more customer get-togethers, car clinics, sales carnivals, the best modified car competition and other programmes that would engage itself with its customers.
He said Proton would now refocus on its export strategy and would balance between volume and profitability when pursuing its export markets.
He pointed out that only between 60% and 65% of export orders were met, and that was because of delays in delivery of exclusive parts and other issues such as agreements.
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