Fleet News

Far East meltdown hits Proton's rental buyback plans

TURMOIL in the Far East tiger economies has backfired on Proton's ground-breaking bid to build UK daily rental business without residual value tears. The pioneering deal involved placing 3,500 Personas with daily rental companies on short cycle then buying them back at a guaranteed price and shipping them to Malaysia to satisfy rocketing demand for second-hand right-hand-drive cars.

But the stock market meltdown and currency devaluation in Proton's native Malaysia means used car demand has dried up overnight, leaving the UK importer saddled with several thousand vehicles. A series of deals with Avis Rent a Car, United Kenning and EuroDollar saw Proton increase sales by a quarter to almost 11,000 vehicles this year.

Some of the initial tranche of ex-daily rental cars has already been exported, but the majority is still in the UK. The company is exploring new avenues of disposal - including other right-hand-drive markets overseas. A Proton spokesman said: 'It's not a situation that Proton believes will adversely affect residual values and we will be doing everything we can to prevent that from happening.'

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


No comments have been made yet.

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee