The new norm isn’t just about masking up and social distancing, something many people have been doing their whole lives. It also brings about many industry changes that will transform the way business is conducted or push some into new ventures as new buying patterns emerge.
One such impact from ol ‘Rona was the growth in used car sales, that the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) reported as expanding by 100 per cent in the first half of the year.
Many carmakers here have already established pre-owned components to their business here to support the automotive value chain and streamline new car purchases as customers trade in to trade up.
Proton might be a little late to the party but better late than never. They developed a Used Car Management (UCM) department back in 2019 with just outlets housed in existing dealerships. Being a brand-new division, they initial used the early months to establish protocols train staff on used car inspection points.
They’re done with all that now so it’s show time. This yea, the UCM is looking to set up shop at 36 3S/4S outlets nationwide.
The goal here is replacement sales that will see a current owner trading up by trading in an existing Proton model for a new one. They’re hoping for UCM to account for a minimum of 10 per cent of new sales at the outlets it operates from.
Proton is also looking to push the initiative with programmes like Proton Xchange that aim to encourage existing owners to trade up to a newer Proton.
“With Proton’s sales growing quickly and expected to increase over the coming years, the role of used car management has become more important as we assist customers who need to dispose of their used vehicles. When we started the UCM division in 2019 the goals set were to support new car sales and to improve the resale value of Proton cars,” said Brian Cheah, head of UCM.
Used cars from trade-ins will first undergo a comprehensive 201-point inspection as well as a guarantee of not being subject to flood or major structural damage from collisions. If everything checks out, the vehicles will be sold under the Proton Certified Pre-Owned (PCPO) banner.
Buyers of PCPO vehicles will 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 from the date of purchase.
“In the future, UCM will set up a dedicated Proton used car portal with an online selling platform to attract techsavvy used car buyers. Potential customers will be able to view our stock remotely and they can also browse the website to get an estimated valuation for their current car,” added Cheah.
The move has certainly been bearing fruit for Proton as it helps sales advisors close deals by offering competitive trade-in values on used Protons.
“Atiara Johan was selected as the first authorized Proton UCM outlet in June 2019. Since it was established, it 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,” said Judith Yam, Managing Director of Atiara Johan, a Proton 4S outlet in Puchong.