Proton needs to arrest car "quality crisis"
Proton Holdings Bhd is taking critical steps, including forming strategic alliances, to arrest a "quality crisis" of its cars and services, said its managing director Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohd Tahir.
He said Proton was in the midst of evaluating its strategic alliance potentials and would soon make public its decision.
“We must make interesting and better cars. This is clear, either on our own or with a partner,” he said.
Syed Zainal said the national carmaker was in urgent need to reverse the negative perception that consumers had on its cars and the brand.
He said the public needed to know that it was critical of its own cars and services, and was undertaking a comprehensive evaluation of its products to enhance its brand image.
Syed Zainal was speaking to reporters after launching Proton’s Quality Campaign at its main factory in Shah Alam on April 5.
He said the campaign extends to Proton's vendors and that it might revoke the contracts of those who fail to improve on quality and service as outlined by the company.
He said the campaign was in line with Proton’s goal to make cars that were competitive in quality, safety, design and pricing.
Syed Zainal said the campaign would address employees, production practices and components manufactured by its suppliers to identifying improvements that could be made to strengthen its after sales services and activities.
He said moving forward, Proton would focus on product development, cost control, sales and distribution, manufacturing efficiency, vendor development and human capital development besides quality improvement.
Earlier during the launch of the campaign, Syed Zainal told Proton employees that with cheaper cars since the National Automotive Policy was announced, the car industry environment had become extremely competitive.
“Customers, previously taken for granted, now have many choices. Compared to 10 years ago, the challenges now are greater as customers do not compromise on quality,” he said.
He urged Proton employees to question as to why there were many complaints on the cars, acknowledging that many of the complaints by customers were true.
“It is important to accept that this is something that has to be changed. The first step is changing individual attitudes towards work,” he said.
Syed Zainal told the workers that while Proton had similar technology and facilities with other automobile companies, the employees’ attitude made the difference.
Citing Indonesia as an example, Syed Zainal said the unfavourable economic situation there compelled automotive industry workers to value their employment, increase productivity and maintain product quality.
Proton pledges to reduce defectsBy Nick Leong
SHAH ALAM: National carmaker Proton Holdings Bhd has launched a campaign to improve the quality of its cars and pledged to substantially reduce defects.
Managing director Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohd Tahir said the company knew about the public's negative perceptions of its cars, adding that the quality had to improve because car buyers had more choice now compared with 10 years ago.
“I have heard it myself; people saying 'Biasalah ... ini kan Proton' (It's a Proton ... that is normal) when the power window does not work or the door does not shut properly.
“It is unacceptable for me. I don't want Proton to be associated with sub-standard products,” he told reporters after launching the quality campaign at the company's main factory yesterday.
“In terms of quality, we are at a crisis. We have to stick to our SOP (standard operating procedure) and, by we, I mean the entire chain and processes that go into the building of a car.”
Syed Zainal Abidin said Proton's 0.6 defect per unit (dpu) was well above its target of 0.15 dpu.
“I saw how some employees handled fragile parts nonchalantly like talking to their colleagues or using their hand phone. When the parts are scratched or dented and rejected by customers, who loses?
“The cost of rejects is very high and we will have to pay for it,” he said.
He said Proton employees had to take more pride in their work and vendors and their suppliers would also have to improve on the quality of their products.
Syed Zainal Abidin said Proton Edar, a subsidiary of Proton, would implement its own programme, called 3S (Salam, Senyum, dan Sopan) soon to improve service.