Proton has a new Chinese name, signalling a new journey of resurgence the national carmaker is taking under the new leadership.
However, before this can become a reality, it is utterly essential for the company to identify and rectify the many problems and weaknesses within its corporate structure.
One of the weaknesses is service quality. PONSB chief executive Li Chunrong unreservedly hit out at Proton’s pathetic service quality, insisting that the company should prioritize its customers.
Recognizing this problem marks the first step towards solving the problem, and seeing one’s weaknesses is a prerequisite to lift the service quality. Now that the Proton leadership has identified the internal problems, it must analyze and rectify them to ensure the company’s continued progress in the future.
In this highly competitive and globalized age, any company could be flushed out of the market if fails to see its own problems and make amends.
Proton used to see its better days when it captured the lion’s share of the local automobile market for years. The first cars of many Malaysians back in those years were Protons. It was not only the pride of Malaysians but also constituted the collective memories of many.
Indeed, Proton formed an integral part of the nation’s history as well as the collective memories of Malaysians.
Unfortunately Proton later backslid in the stiff industrial competition and has been declining steadily despite the many government efforts to bail out the company.
Following the acquisition of 49.9% of Proton shares by Zhejiang Geely Holdings of China, an enormous window of marketing opportunities has been opened up, laying a solid foundation for the company’s rebirth.
The change of Proton’s name in Chinese to 宝腾 heralds a new beginning, but more importantly there must be real corporate reforms and improvements in product and service quality.
Li Chunrong has outlined seven strategies to revive Proton: product competitiveness, optimized manufacturing capacity, localization, quality consistency, costing competitiveness, highly effective online network and expertise.
Meanwhile, Proton has decided to bring in three latest Geely models and upgrade and re-engineer existing eight models in a bid to boost the competitiveness of its products.
While inheriting the destiny of the old Proton, the revived company must courageously break the shackles and not to be bogged down by its old self as it strives to earn market acceptance once again through improved product quality.
Proton will see its glorious days again if it is committed to moving with the time and pursuing uncompromising efficiency and quality.