I’m sure you’ve seen the latest Proton ad on TV. There is a silhouette of a car (that looks like a Gen2) and it ends with the message “you can book at Proton showrooms today”. The funny thing is, Proton seems to have a very inflated sense of their image.
They don’t show me the car, and expect me to travel to the showroom to see the car? Fat chance. They think they are BMW or something. Hello? At least have some creativity and make your new car transform into a robot or something la.
Now let me pause here to say that I am not working for Proton competitor, and I currently drive a Proton car so this eliminates any financial motives for writing this post. However you will notice a certain mood of hostility towards the company.
As a Proton owner, I just want to give you seven things to think about before you go and buy that car:
1) EON or Proton Edar?
Before you decide on your purchase, you better find out where the nearest service centre is. If the EON service centre is nearer, buy from an EON showroom, and if Proton Edar is nearer, buy from a Proton Edar showroom. Otherwise you may end up going to Klang or Shah Alam to service your car at the ‘authorised’ service centre.
To them, it’s like a different car brand if you don’t buy from their company.
2) Warranty Can Use For Toilet Paper
No, wait. It would make very a very uncomfortable piece of toilet paper. One week after I got my brand new Proton, my battery indicator kept lighting up intermittenly. I sent it to the Proton Edar ‘authorised service centre’ no less than 3 times, and each time they refused to believe there is a problem (since it happens intermittenly).
I sent the car to my friendly neighbourhood ‘Ah Keong’ mechanic, who found a serious defect with the alternator. However he could not do anything at the risk of voiding the ‘warranty’. In the end I gave up and forked out RM1,000 for a new alternator. Problem fixed.
3) You Better Pray Hard
You are really gambling when you purchase a Proton, due to the dubious quality control standards. You better pray to God for divine mercy. If you pray to other gods you better do it properly. Burn 1000 joss stick and go see the fortune teller to ask if you should buy or not.
If you happen to get a car with a lot of problems, then you will have to live with it. Refer to item #2.
4) Want To Sell?
You better be prepared to drive your Proton for a long, long time. Take a look at the second hand market and see how many thousands of Protons are for sale. If you want to sell, it is at a very low price.
To make things worse, Proton is slashing the price of their new cars to the detriment of the nation’s used car market. Even someone like me with no economics training (okay, I admit I read some chapters in a textbook) knows this is not the right way to do business.
5) Milo-tin body
If you are one of those perfectionist car owners who wants their cars to look perfect, then I suggest you keep your car at home. If you drive your car regularly, I guarantee there will be a dent somewhere within the first month. I think if you close the door a bit hard also will get a dent.
6) Tikus (mice)
Within one year, you will find squeeky sounds in your car. Guaranteed. I don’t know where it comes from. The steering wheel, under the seat, somewhere under the hood. Even the radio speakers have squeeky sound effects added to your music.
If you see one black Wira swerving around on the road you will know that it’s me being driven crazy trying to find the source of the squeeky sound.
7) The Company
The company has not been doing well for the past few years with losses amounting to billions. This could be due to the serious mis-management, and dumb decisions such as selling off a division for one euro. Guess whose money is used to keep it afloat? I am guessing yours and my tax money.
No further comment on this item lest someone makes a police report against me and I get arrested *visions of blogging infamy and glory…*
So, if you still want to go ahead with buying the car… I suggest you eat vegetarian today. Donate some money into the Adino Chang charity for Under Entertained Bloggers. Make friends with a car mechanic (maybe marry their daughter). Start a blog to rant about the car.
So… anyone want to buy my car? It’s still in good condition. *squeek*