Published on June 7th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Interview With Dato Billy Goh Managing Director of ONE Auto Group
The Malaysian automotive industry has been vibrant for the past 15 years and it is only in the last 8-9 months we have seen a rather lacklustre market with reduced consumer confidence and changing buyer patterns. This is why we are meeting with Dato Billy Goh who despite the current market negativity has decided to expand his automotive reach. First with the acquisition of Four more Hyundai dealerships under his group which already owns 4 well established Hyundai dealerships and is currently holding 25% of Hyundai Sales, and now news of his interest in the Chery car brand in Malaysia.
Long established Chery is China’s biggest vehicle exporter and one of the very few Chinese car companies that manufacture right hand drive vehicles.
We speak candidly with Dato Billy Goh to find out what is making him accelerate his automotive business is this economic climate.
- QUESTION: Why Chery?
ANSWER: Chery was the 1st China brand car to come to Malaysia. It is a very familiar and they have been here since 2004 and they have strong presence here. Popularity is still high and current owners still hold on to their vehicles. Furthermore, with the rapid development of Automakers in China, Cars from China will soon catch up with Auto brands from Japan & Korea in terms of technology & quality.
- QUESTION: Is the market ready for another big Chinese car manufacturer (after Haval)?
ANSWER: Yes, even though Haval is growing, and they have good products, we feel we have a better product and range as other China brands focus more on commercial vehicles whereas Chery focuses more on passenger vehicles. Also Chery has a very good product in MPV.
- QUESTION: Has Chery got the required after sales and spare parts network needed to boost car buyer’s confidence?
ANSWER: Yes Chery Malaysia has it. In all major cities they have 3S centres already established. In all states except Sabah and Sarawak there is a Chery representative. Spare Parts are available in their Glenmarie warehouse. About RM5 million worth of spares available in stock right now. With my current involvement Chery have flown a professional team from Anhui in China to oversee the project and ensure all cars are delivered to our new customers in top standard. These car needs to be the best quality to change the perception of Chery.
After Sales and Warranty will be handled by Chery Automobile SB. For now we are only in Sales with the aim of being the regional distributor for Malaysia, later in Indonesia, Thailand & other possible Asean countries.
- QUESTION: Share with us your plans for Chery.
ANSWER: If we are successfully appointed as the new Distributor, we will continue to bring in new MPV Models. We believe Malaysia has big demand on Value for money MPV. We wish to explore electric cars from Chery too. With the support of Government & the trend now, we think Malaysia has room for Electric car too. They have good technology and the pricing will be right for us.
- QUESTION: Any new models in the pipeline for 2016?
ANSWER: Yes…..for example the Chery Maxim MPV is good for Indonesia market. Before the Chery QQ only was sold in Indonesia and we fell that a MPV will fit Indonesia market better.
- QUESTION: Existing stock…..will they be sold with full warranty?
ANSWER: Yes, the MPV will be sold with a 5 years of 150,000km warranty and the Transcom 14 seater van will be sold with a 3 years warranty and the small pickup truck will be sold with a 2 years warranty.
- QUESTION: Network expansion planned?
ANSWER: We have started network expansion together with the existing dealers. Then more will come in of course.
- QUESTION: Pricing will follow from before?
ANSWER: Pricing will be same as before but we will roll out programs such as 2 to 5 years free Service depending on Models. This will give our buyers hassle free during the entire warranty period. Furthermore, we are having limited time Raya Promotion with Free Instalment up to 1 year for selected model. During current uncertain market, we wish to ease the pressure of owning new vehicles from our car buyers.
- QUESTION: Local assembly will continue?
ANSWER: Yes, we will continue once the new agreement has been formalised. Currently all of our stock are 2016 new cars.
- QUESTION: When will the official announcement be made?
ANSWER: We will focus on Sales for now and making sure the vehicles are in tip top conditions. For the next step, we are in final stage of discussion with Management from Chery of China. We hope we can announce good news soon too.