The DRB-HICOM Group – via its subsidiary, Edaran Otomobil Nasional Berhad (EON) – is venturing into aftersales services with the establishment of a joint venture with Petromin Express, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Petromin Corporation. Petromin Express is the world’s fifth largest fast-fit service brand and operates in the Middle East, Africa and is looking to new markets in Asia.
The joint-venture company, which will be 51:49 shared between Petromin and EON, is expected to commence pilot operations of the business in January 2023, with 4 outlets during the 18-month pilot run. The pilot will enable management to derive a longer strategic roadmap for the business including capital requirements for expansion.
Growing sector in auto industry
DRB-HICOM’s move into the automotive aftersales market in Malaysia is timely as this is a large and growing area of business, especially with the population of vehicles in use. In 2021, this sector generated revenue of approximately RM42 billion.
Modelled after Petromin’s highly successful Petromin Express outlets in Saudi Arabia, the new company aims to offer Malaysian vehicle owners a unique experience of fast-fit aftersales services with a quick turnaround time.
While the services will be offered to all vehicles, the company will be targeting vehicles aged between 5 and 10 years which no longer have warranties in effect. Such vehicles will no longer be restricted by warranty conditions and can therefore be serviced by any other company.
Complementary new business
The collaboration complements DRB-HICOM’s existing and extensive automotive value chain. The group is already involved in automotive manufacturing via Proton, retails several foreign automotive brands under the EON umbrella, and also offers mandatory inspection services via PUSPAKOM.
“Petromin’s collaboration with DRB-HICOM will allow it entry into the lucrative Malaysian aftersales servicing market by partnering with Petromin Express, a well-established and trusted corporate brand in the automotive sector. Their vast know-how and operational expertise, coupled with DRB-HICOM’s market intelligence and extensive customer reach, will create an ideal synergy that will propel this partnership to great heights. At the same time, we are very excited to be offering a new, affordable and convenient service to Malaysians,” said DRB-HICOM Group Managing Director, Dato’ Sri Syed Faisal Albar.
Besides its Petromin Express business with over 700 outlets across Saudi Arabia, Petromin has a substantial lubricants business with products exported to over 35 countries. It also operates operates petrol service stations and distributes Nissan vehicles in the Kingdom.
Commenting on the new partnership, Petromin’s Group CEO, Kalyana Sivagnanam, said: “After decades of transforming the mobility solutions landscape in the Middle East and North Africa region, Petromin is looking forward to helping in transforming and pioneering the aftersales service experience for the discerning customers in Malaysia and around the globe. We are optimistic that this relationship will yield significant impact on the market in the face of game-changing technological, economic, and societal trends.”