It said the target for 2018 is to substantially increase the number of 3S (sales, service and spare parts) outlets nationwide to enhance overall customer experience with the introduction of new models this year.
"Currently the 3S/4S dealership nationwide is equivalent to only 30 per cent of our total dealerships and 70 per cent are 1S (sales) facilities where the dealers only sell vehicles without offering any after sales servicing."
"We recognised that a substantial sum of money needs to be spent by the dealers on this exercise. Therefore, we have introduced a special scheme that offers upfront support to assist dealers in upgrading to brand new premises," it said in a statement today.
The national carmaker said additionally, these dealers would enjoy extra margins on cars sold for up to three years.
Proton said in the past dealers enjoyed a four per cent margin based on a monthly volume of 40 units agreed with the company to qualify for their sales incentives.
It has revised the scheme by lowering the threshold to encourage overall business growth for dealers.
The scheme is in line with current challenges faced by dealers and the company will continue to monitor the situation to ensure business growth is achievable.
In addition, it said quarterly incentive scheme were also provided throughout the year, where dealers could earn extra income by exceeding their sales targets, as well as state incentive support for on-ground activities by dealers.
Commenting on the Malaysian Association of Malay Vehicle Importers and Traders' claim that bumiputra dealers were working under pressure, Proton said it acknowledged the tough challenges they faced.
The national carmaker said since 2000, a decline in market share and sales volume had affected the company's ability to finance its research and development activities, which led to the company falling behind its competitors in technology and product competitiveness.
It also indirectly affected investments in developing the network, staff and manufacturing abilities of the company, it added.
In its efforts to address the decline, the national carmaker tried various approaches ranging from platform sharing with other brands to developing its own engines and transmissions to reduce dependence on imported parts.
"While these actions brought about positive results, none were able to arrest the continuing decline in sales and market share that were apparent both in Malaysia, as well as in foreign markets."
"Therefore, the need for a foreign strategic partner quickly became apparent if Proton wanted to stage a recovery to its former position at the head of the Malaysian automotive market."
"It would also help in our aspirations to grow the brand both locally and abroad, which is a key thrust for the future business plans of the company."