Proton Edar sells its flagship Crystal showroom, COSE service centre in Shah Alam HQ to MBf Automobile

Proton Edar, the national automaker’s local distribution arm, has announced that it is selling its flagship Crystal showroom and COSE service centre at the brand’s Shah Alam headquarters to MBf Automobile. Effective December 1, the outlet will be known as Proton MBf Automobile COE 4S, with no change in operational aspects.

While it may sound surprising as to why Edar is selling its flagship dealership attached to the HQ to a party outside the group, it’s not really the case, because the company has slowly been moving away from direct sales, having begun selling off its dealerships to third parties in 2020 and shifting to a distributor model like Honda and more recently, Toyota.

In April 2020, it was reported that Proton was set to undergo a restructuring exercise that would see it split up its sales and car assembly divisions, and was planning to sell dealerships under its wholly-owned Proton Edar unit to Edaran Otomobil Nasional (EON), and the rest of its dealerships en bloc to others.

Proton Edar sells its flagship Crystal showroom, COSE service centre in Shah Alam HQ to MBf Automobile

By November that year, the suggestion had turned to fact, with EON – which is wholly owned by DRB-Hicom –taking over nine Proton dealerships from Proton Edar, including four 4S (sales, service, spares and spray) centres and three 3S centres, with four branches located in the central region and two each in Johor and Penang.

With the sale of its dealerships to EON, it was pretty much a full circle act for Proton. EON was established in 1984 to distribute Proton cars, but a fallout with Proton’s management saw the carmaker setting up Proton Edar and relegating EON to super dealer status. In 2009, EON and Proton signed a master dealership agreement, and the resulting consolidation saw EON outlets migrating to Proton Edar, with EON eventually ceasing to be a Proton dealer in 2012.

As for MBf Automotive, which is of course part of MBf Holdings, the acquisition of the CoE showroom means it now operates three outlets, the others being at Menara MBf and Jelatek.

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