Friday, 20 February 2009

Volvos for Sabah Ministers, Perdana for its senior officials

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman on Wednesday announced that the government will be replacing part of its Proton Perdana official cars with Volvo cars because they will be cheaper to maintain.
Speaking to reporters after chairing the weekly State Cabinet meeting, Musa, who is also Finance Minister, said the Volvo cars, to be acquired by State Government-linked Angkatan Hebat Sdn Bhd, would be used by the 12 ministers and 16 assistant ministers.
“Senior civil servants, including the permanent secretaries in the various ministries, will continue to use the Proton Perdana cars,” he said.

My Say:

Going by the explanation by the Chief Minister, its make sense that the government opted for Volvos for Ministers and Assistant Ministers.

But blogger mindacergas said the decision was politically incorrect that Sabah government to replace Perdana cars with Volvos.

I reproduced a posting on this aspect from mindacergas for all to read and evaluate.
Looks like Sabah is taking opportunity to jump on the “lets ditch our Proton’s” bandwagon, and it is really quite hard to blame them.
The good news is that Perak. Selangor and Terengganu have all paved the way forward. Terengganu was the first to get the ball rolling and of course it was super controversial, as the had chosen to go with Mercedes for the replacement of the Perdana’s. When Selangor and Perak went with Toyota CAMRY’s it was very uneventful because Toyota’s makes absolute sense.

Lets look at why Toyota’s make sense:

Toyota has grown from nothing to be the number 1 car company in the world, as measured in Sales & Profitability
On a Global basis - Toyota is number 1 in quality and reliability.
Toyota has for years had the highest quality ratings of any car manufacturer
Toyota has the highest customer satisfaction rating and the highest customer retention rate among all brands
Locally it is the same story.
Year on year Toyota sales in Malaysia have been growing - a sign of a strong franchise
Total cost of ownership is low due to high reliability and low service cost
Resale value is strong relative to all other brands.
Toyota has a strong dealer network throughout the country , dealers are well trained and have all the proper equipment for servicing and maintaining the cars.
On a personal level - you hardly ever hear anyone complain about the cost of owning a Toyota.
Back to SABAH, switching out of Perdana’s is not suprising.
The SHOCK is replacing Perdana’s with VOLVO’s.
Lets use the same criteria above that was used to evaluate Toyota to Evaluate VOLVO:

Unlike Toyota, VOLVO is in trouble and Ford is looking to sell it off
On a Global basis - Unlike Toyota, VOLVO has never been regarded as a brand that is number 1 in quality and reliability.
Unlike Toyota, VOLVO has never been known for quality. Instead VOLVO’s legacy is safety but even then other brands have overtaken VOLVO. In 2008 the AUDI A6 and AUDI A4 were placed ateh safes large and mid sized sedans. (here)
Unlike Toyota, VOLVO does not have the highest customer satisfaction rating and the highest customer retention rate among all brands

Locally it is the same story.

Unlike Toyota, year on year VOLVO sales in Malaysia have been declining
Unlike Toyota, total cost of ownership is higher due to lower reliability and higher service cost
Unlike Toyota, resale value is weaker relative to all other competing brands.
Unlike Toyota, VOLVO has a limited dealer network throughout the country (and none in SABAH)
On a personal level - you will hear owners complain about their VOLVO - love the car hate the cost.
I think the people of SABAH really need to ask some hard questions. If the goal is to save cost - then the benchmark surely must be the CAMRY and all else must be measured against the Total Cost of Ownership of a Camry - like for like.



SJDisimon said...

I was once driving a Volvo 240 model (Automatic) in late 1980's with the registration no: SA6808. The official car was assigned to me as my official vehicle by my former Department, Housing and Town Development Authority. Maintenance was regular since it was the office vehicle. No doubt, its reliability was unquestionable, but not until I drove it to Tambunan. I had an unforgettable experience while driving it downhill from Tambunan to Penampang after attending the Harvest Festival. If not for my presence of mind and driving experience I would not have reached home safely.

Undeniably the vehicle was very much reliable when I was driving it on flat ground, but I questioned its reliability after that chilling experience when I was driving it downhill from Tambunan to Penampang, when all of a sudden its pedal brake system failed. My peers who were driving similar Volvo models (Automatic)shared the same experience and they ended up forcing their vehicles to crash against the hill side in order to avoid the worst to happen. Since their vehicles had been damaged, there was no way to determine the exact cause of the pedal brake failure.

In my case, after I realized that the pedal brake was totally not working, I had to drive it very slowly downhill by engaging the automatic gear in drive 1 or 2. I had to use the hand brake to slow down when negotiating the sharp corners, or whenever I wanted to stop. This proved to be effective until I reached safely down at the foothills of Moyog.

While I was driving downhill, I did not even bother to use the pedal brake anymore until I was nearing Kg. Inobong when I finally decided to try using the pedal brake. Presto, to my surprise, the brake was functioning normally again.

I had my vehicle sent to Volvo workshop the following morning for inspection and to rectify the faulty pedal brake. I was even asked to make a report of my experience to the Volvo distributer, which I did for the benefit of Volvo users. My vehicle was thoroughly inspected and tested. Finally they found out the design fault that rendered the pedal brake malfunctioning. When the pedal brake was engaged more often, or for too long, the brake oil got heated up to a certain temperature rendering the pedal brake to malfunction.

Do we want our Ministers and Assistant Ministers to meet the same fate and chilling experience that I had?

JBingkasan said...

Thanks for sharing, Gundohing. And for me I am yet to even feel the steering of Volvo let along driving one. As for now I feel drivang safe with by kancil, wira and hilux.

JBingkasan said...

it shoud read driving...not drivang, my apology.