After 30 years with Federal Auto Holdings Bhd (FAHB), the distributor of Volvos ever since sales began in Malaysian in 1960, Cham Heng Lee has retired from his position as Managing Director.
Mr Cham, who had entered the motor industry three years before joining FAHB, had held the position of MD and CEO for 24 years. During that time, he led the company from strength to strength and saw Volvo becoming one of the top-selling makes in Malaysia.
His association with FAHB and Volvo has been so strong that in his hometown of Raub, Pahang, (although he was actually born in Negri Sembilan), Mr Cham is regarded by the townsfolk as the man behind Volvo.
A enthusiastic traveller and driver, Mr Cham is well known to have often driven his car to work with his chauffeur beside him, and had also built up a collection of special Volvos (including the Bertone-designed 262C coupe and the C5 special-purpose vehicle).
Commenting on his time with FAHB to AUTOWORLD.COM.MY’s Chips Yap. Mr Cham said: “I have had a most challenging career in which I have experienced both joy and pain in leading the enterprise. Overall, it has been both eventful and turbulent! Reflection of the boom years is overshadowed by memories of the recessions and the like. But each of these implanted a new sense of confidence and maturity amongst us and I have thoroughly enjoyed my stay with the company and the group.”
He said he has no immediate plans after retirement and is looking forward to taking up golf more seriously as well as spend more time with his family. “It’s about time I start paying more attention to my wife, after giving so much attention to the company during the past 30 years!” he quipped.
Mr Cham’s position in FAHB has been assumed by Jamal Suraini.