Proton diversifies income stream, ‘Global Services’ handles cafe, merchandise, R3 division, solar panels

Proton is diversifying its operations and revenue stream by exploring opportunities within the automotive ecosystem and beyond, and leading the effort is Proton Global Services (PGS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Proton Edar.


Established in 2021 with just one F&B and merchandise outlet, PGS has expanded its scope of operations to now encompass six key areas, namely Lifestyle, Engineering, Training, New Energy, Logistics and R3 Motorsports. Led by CEO Lee Yeet Chuan, revenue has increased exponentially from below RM1 million in 2021 to 19 times that at the end of 2023. PGS is now a key contributor to Proton’s business network.


PGS’ most visible businesses are the Lifestyle and R3 Motorsports divisions. The former is tasked with managing the Proton Cafe and selling Proton merchandise while the latter is focused on developing performance variants and running Proton’s racing activities.


Proton diversifies income stream, ‘Global Services’ handles cafe, merchandise, R3 division, solar panelsProton diversifies income stream, ‘Global Services’ handles cafe, merchandise, R3 division, solar panels


Launched in 2021, Proton Cafe offers customers freshly brewed coffee and food items in a relaxed setting. To date, 16 outlets are operating at Proton dealerships and there are plans to reach 25 outlets by 2025. As for merchandising, Proton merch has long been available, but commercialisation has now started under PGS. There are currently 20 Proton merchandise partners nationwide as well as a virtual shop at protonmerchandise.com.


R3 Motorsports celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2023 with the launch of the Proton X50 R3 20th Anniversary Edition. This year, the division is focusing on developing a Proton S70 R3 race car with the aim of participating in the Sepang 1,000 KM (S1K) race, and growing sales of R3 lubricants.


“The retail business for PGS leverages on the strong enthusiasm Malaysians have for Proton. With so much history behind the company, we have an opportunity to build closer ties with Proton owners while offering them premium products and services. Our activities also indirectly reinforce Proton’s branding, and this is clearly seen via our R3 branded merchandise, lubricants and return to motorsports in the future,” Lee said.


Proton diversifies income stream, ‘Global Services’ handles cafe, merchandise, R3 division, solar panels


Beyond retail, PGS also undertakes projects within Proton’s ecosystem. Doing so allows the parent company to receive additional revenue as profits are shared with Proton Edar. Examples of such projects include changing the lighting at Proton’s casting plant to energy saving units, supplying the furniture as well as commissioning new office space for department transfers to Proton Tanjong Malim.


The New Energy division is focused on the introduction of renewable energy to aid the company’s ESG rating, while also retailing energy efficient solutions. Initiatives include the sale and installation of solar PV cells to Proton dealers and vendors as well as collaborating with partners to build a proof on concept for mobile EV charging.


“Proton has been able to derive a number of benefits by forming PGS. From a costing point of view, the company is now able to better control operational costs while PGS retail operations allows us to leverage on the strength of our dealer network and brand image and maximise revenue opportunities.


“For the future, plans are in place to expand the use of renewable clean energy for Proton and our vendors while work is currently ongoing between PGS and its engineering partners to develop energy storage and charging solutions critical for future Proton models. Added to initiatives to support training for automotive industry workers as well as a growing logistics presence, we envision PGS to continue to make consistent contributions to Proton’s bottom line in the future,” said Proton Edar CEO Roslan Abdullah.


The post Proton diversifies income stream, ‘Global Services’ handles cafe, merchandise, R3 division, solar panels appeared first on Paul Tan’s Automotive News.


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