Proton and Suzuki Malaysia Automobile Sdn Bhd are entering a key strategic move in the collaboration that was announced in June 2015. 25 3S and four 4S Suzuki dealership outlets are now converted as Proton Edar outlets.
All the 29 outlets will be outlets which will have both the Proton and Suzuki logos. These outlets, although have been recognised to be part of Proton Edar outlets, will continue to have the ability to provide service and repairs for the existing 48,000 Ssuzuki customers in Malaysia. The new set up also provides opportunity for the Suzuki dealers to expand their business to include Proton cars.
“The industry is aware that Suzuki is going to end sales of its own brand models in the Malaysian market after the Memorandum of Understanding and License Agreement were signed between the three parties, Proton, DRB-HICOM and Suzuki on 15 June 2015. The rationalisation of SMA operations was originally expected to be completed within a year but it has progressed earlier than planned to realise the next phases of the partnership. Today, I am happy to announce that the collaboration is seeing the first of
many exciting milestones and providing Proton with the advantage of additional dealers network, vendors, skilled manpower, platform sharing and technology know-how,” said Dato’ Abdul Harith Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer of Proton.
“Suzuki Malaysia Automobile is proud to have worked alongside and served our amazing partners and customers here in Malaysia over the past decade. The consolidation of Suzuki’s existing showrooms with Proton further strengthen the synergy between both brands ensuring the constant delivery of automotive after-sales services that our customers are accustomed to,” said Masashi Fukuda, Managing Director of Suzuki Malaysia Automobile echoing the same sentiment as Dato’ Harith.
“The existing Suzuki car owners can be rest assured as their automotive needs such as the after sales services and warranty coverage with the use of genuine Suzuki parts will continue to be managed and covered. They can continue to send their cars to these outlets which are strategically located across Malaysia,” continued Masashi Fukuda.
Under the collaboration, Suzuki, which is strong for its technology and expertise in producing smaller engine segments, especially in the A and B segments categories would complement Proton’s long range product plan. The development of this collaboration gives Proton the opportunity to tap into Suzuki’s strengths, which will result in the maximising of volume potentials, reduction in development lead time and expedite time-to-market. This can be achieved through the technology sharing and the ability to maintain
cost efficiency in collaboration with Suzuki.
“We are happy that the Malaysian government supports such collaboration as it is also in line with the National Automotive Policy (NAP). NAP promotes strong and renowned global automotive player like Suzuki, to be a collaboration partner to Proton. The collaboration will provide Proton the opportunity to grow internationally, leveraging on Suzuki’s presence worldwide while Proton continuously develop and produce cars that meet international standards and requirements,” Dato’ Harith added further.
“Suzuki is known to be a good partner. For example, Suzuki’s partnership in India with Maruti grew from strength to strength. In 2014/15 alone, their market share was 45%. We are confident that Proton and Suzuki will foster similar or even stronger bond,” said Dato’ Harith.
“The collaboration will also see the assimilation of good and best in class practices. As Suzuki exits Malaysian market, it displays genuine commitment to make this collaboration successful according to the agreed terms. In that, Proton is honoured to be part of its several successful partnerships worldwide and we look forward to a more fruitful journey in our transformation initiatives to increase market share,” said Dato’ Harith.
Suzuki has already ceased its production line in Malaysia and as part of the collaboration, Proton has access to Suzuki talents, models, platforms, powertrain and other automotive technology. Suzuki will then provide specific technical assistance for the products while it leverages on Proton’s vast local distribution and service network for its rebranded cars.
Suzuki is a renowned global automotive player and is the third top sales automotive company in Japan and has presence via production plants in 21 countries. What more to say, Suzuki has also sold approximately 3 million cars in a year globally with 1.2 million cars coming from India.
“With the additional 29 new 3S & 4S outlets, this will add to the strength to the Proton in providing enhance quality facilities at all our sales and after sales services outlets nationwide,” ended Dato’ Harith.
Start of production of the collaborative product is expected before end of 2016.