Stamford Tyres Malaysia Expands Falken’s Digital Footprint and Reach

Stamford Tyres (M) Sdn Bhd, the sole distributor of Falken tyres in Malaysia have, for a long time invested in social media as part of their global image, with the Falken Malaysia’s official Facebook page created in 16th April, 2013. This Facebook page has proven a helpful tool in the Covid-19 pandemic, especially during the implementation of Malaysian government’s movement control order (MCO) to curb the spread of Covid-19.

According to Statista, the most popular social media platforms among users in Malaysia in 2020 were Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger and Linkedln. Since its launch in 2004, Facebook has become the most widely used social media platform among social media users in Malaysia.  Base on Statcounter, Facebook remains the top site, with 84.32 per cent of market shares, followed by Pinterest (6.28 per cent), Twitter (3.31 per cent), Youtube (3 per cent) and Instagram (2.29 per cent) between July 2019 to July 2020.  This showed that Stamford Tyres Malaysia made the right choice to put the most leverage on its Falken Facebook business page to help expand their presence and reach in the market. 

“During MCO, especially from April to May, people were spending more time online with their devices. The closure of non-essential businesses and services meant that most people needed to stay and work from home, there has been a rapid escalation in online shopping, video conference, online marketing, e-learning, as schools and tuition centre moved their lessons on-line, home-based entertainment as well as online communication,” said Frankie Kong, Head of Sales for SUV & 4X4, Stamford Tyres Malaysia. 

Falken Facebook Page followers increased 50 per cent during MCO 

Falken Facebook page, he pointed out, has always been a great marketing tool for the company. “It enhanced Falken’s brand identity and raised its brand awareness. In fact, our Falken Facebook has been enjoying good engagement and traffic before the lockdown. But,  it was during MCO that we really saw and experienced its power and potency, especially in overcoming geographical limitations, boasting market presence, as well as allowing direct interaction with our dealers and customers. It helps us to stay connected and relevant with them. Our Falken Facebook page’s followers have increased about 50 per cent as compared to before MCO”

Head of High-Performance Tyre Ku Seng Yeow added that the expansion of Falken’s digital footprint has helped them to reach and tap into new markets. “We received enquiries from rural areas on the east coast and East Malaysia regarding certain Falken patterns. The move to extend the free 1GB internet data offer, except social media and video streaming until 31st December, as part of the government’s short-term Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) also encouraged digitalisation to a certain extent.”

Dealers benefit from Falken Academy Training 

To assist and support their dealers that are operating in a marketplace with increasing disruption and uncertainty, Kong said, it is important to equip them with product knowledge, applications, as well as marketing techniques. 

“Many dealers do not have proper training. The tyre industry tends to focus more on product knowledge, but our Falken Academy Training emphasises both product knowledge and applications. This helps our dealers to sell the right tyres to customers based on types of vehicle, usage, driving behaviour and requirements. Our aim is to train all our dealers and the original plan is to conduct monthly training on a big scale at the newly set up training centre at our premises. We cannot proceed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and have to conduct our training in smaller group at individual tyre service centre.”

Apart from that, Ku said, they also encouraged and helped dealers create their own Facebook page. “There are several challenges to the traditional tyre retail model, and we help our dealers to discover new ways to operate, for instance leveraging on a digital and omni-channel basis.  Then, we would tag our dealers’ Facebook page or share their videos and activities on the Falken official Facebook page.  Coupled with the dealership listings on Falken Facebook Page, this would boost our dealers’ online visibility and drive traffic to their business.”

Previously, he continued, dealers would keep stock. But now, they are more cautious, and prefer to make more orders with smaller quantities. “We are very flexible and willing to support them in tough times. For small quantity urgent deliveries, our dealers would use Lalamove Malaysia, the on-demand and same- day delivery service provider.”   

Kong added that Stamford Tyres Malaysia also shorten their supply chain by dealing directly with the dealers. “Going direct to dealers enable us to have a better control of our brand and pricing, it also benefits dealers as they are able to price their products more competitively. As for the end-user, there is less markup in retail price.”

He sees a pick-up in market demand. The company’s sales has increased about 30 to 40 per cent with more relaxed conditions of the recovery movement control (RMCO) that have been in place since 10th June. The major growth segment, he pointed out is from Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV), from the previous 10 per cent increase to a threefold 30 per cent.  

“There is a short supply due to the local tyre manufacture owing to labour issues, and the majority of the Chinese tyre importers do not have inventory holding power. They were tight in available cash during the lockdown with the considerably high warehouse cost.  We have not encountered any supply shortage, as Falken’s factory in Thailand and Indonesia are less affected by Covid-19, and both have higher levels of automation. Thus, our overall supply is quite consistent, with a little delay for certain patterns due to unexpected demand.  Both Falken Azenis FK510 and ZE914 EcoRun are well received in the market.” 

Currently, Ku added, the market situation is better than expected. However, with the moratorium ending on 30th September 2020, all loan and financing repayment schemes will resume in October 2020, causing a decline in buying power.

Advanced 4D Nano Design to accelerate new tyre 

materials’ development 

Despite challenges and uncertainties in the market, Stamford Malaysia will continue to bring in new Falken products. 

“We are planning to launch two new tyres, one for passenger cars and another for SUV/CUV segments at either the end of this year or early next year. These tyres are the result of our cutting-edge proprietary simulation technology — Advanced 4D Nano Design.  This technology will utilise the K supercomputer and other equipment to perform the world’s most advanced material simulation and analysis, which allows Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) – the manufacturer of Falken tyres – to achieve significant improvements on the tyre’s wet grip performance, fuel efficiency and wear performance,” revealed Kong.

Kong said these two new tyres have received very good reviews in Europe and USA since their launch. “We should continue to improve and expand our product offerings as well as sizes at affordable prices to cater for the needs of motorists during these tough times.” Stamford Tyres (M) Sdn Bhd, the sole distributor of Falken tyres in Malaysia have, for a long time invested in social media as part of their global image, with the Falken Malaysia’s official Facebook page created in 16th April, 2013. This Facebook page has proven a helpful tool in the Covid-19 pandemic, especially during the implementation of Malaysian government’s movement control order (MCO) to curb the spread of Covid-19.

According to Statista, the most popular social media platforms among users in Malaysia in 2020 were Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger and Linkedln. Since its launch in 2004, Facebook has become the most widely used social media platform among social media users in Malaysia.  Base on Statcounter, Facebook remains the top site, with 84.32 per cent of market shares, followed by Pinterest (6.28 per cent), Twitter (3.31 per cent), Youtube (3 per cent) and Instagram (2.29 per cent) between July 2019 to July 2020.  This showed that Stamford Tyres Malaysia made the right choice to put the most leverage on its Falken Facebook business page to help expand their presence and reach in the market. 

“During MCO, especially from April to May, people were spending more time online with their devices. The closure of non-essential businesses and services meant that most people needed to stay and work from home, there has been a rapid escalation in online shopping, video conference, online marketing, e-learning, as schools and tuition centre moved their lessons on-line, home-based entertainment as well as online communication,” said Frankie Kong, Head of Sales for SUV & 4X4, Stamford Tyres Malaysia. 

Falken Facebook Page followers increased 50 per cent during MCO 

Falken Facebook page, he pointed out, has always been a great marketing tool for the company. “It enhanced Falken’s brand identity and raised its brand awareness. In fact, our Falken Facebook has been enjoying good engagement and traffic before the lockdown. But,  it was during MCO that we really saw and experienced its power and potency, especially in overcoming geographical limitations, boasting market presence, as well as allowing direct interaction with our dealers and customers. It helps us to stay connected and relevant with them. Our Falken Facebook page’s followers have increased about 50 per cent as compared to before MCO”

Head of High-Performance Tyre Ku Seng Yeow added that the expansion of Falken’s digital footprint has helped them to reach and tap into new markets. “We received enquiries from rural areas on the east coast and East Malaysia regarding certain Falken patterns. The move to extend the free 1GB internet data offer, except social media and video streaming until 31st December, as part of the government’s short-term Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) also encouraged digitalisation to a certain extent.”

Dealers benefit from Falken Academy Training 

To assist and support their dealers that are operating in a marketplace with increasing disruption and uncertainty, Kong said, it is important to equip them with product knowledge, applications, as well as marketing techniques. 

“Many dealers do not have proper training. The tyre industry tends to focus more on product knowledge, but our Falken Academy Training emphasises both product knowledge and applications. This helps our dealers to sell the right tyres to customers based on types of vehicle, usage, driving behaviour and requirements. Our aim is to train all our dealers and the original plan is to conduct monthly training on a big scale at the newly set up training centre at our premises. We cannot proceed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and have to conduct our training in smaller group at individual tyre service centre.”

Apart from that, Ku said, they also encouraged and helped dealers create their own Facebook page. “There are several challenges to the traditional tyre retail model, and we help our dealers to discover new ways to operate, for instance leveraging on a digital and omni-channel basis.  Then, we would tag our dealers’ Facebook page or share their videos and activities on the Falken official Facebook page.  Coupled with the dealership listings on Falken Facebook Page, this would boost our dealers’ online visibility and drive traffic to their business.”

Previously, he continued, dealers would keep stock. But now, they are more cautious, and prefer to make more orders with smaller quantities. “We are very flexible and willing to support them in tough times. For small quantity urgent deliveries, our dealers would use Lalamove Malaysia, the on-demand and same- day delivery service provider.”   

Kong added that Stamford Tyres Malaysia also shorten their supply chain by dealing directly with the dealers. “Going direct to dealers enable us to have a better control of our brand and pricing, it also benefits dealers as they are able to price their products more competitively. As for the end-user, there is less markup in retail price.”

He sees a pick-up in market demand. The company’s sales has increased about 30 to 40 per cent with more relaxed conditions of the recovery movement control (RMCO) that have been in place since 10th June. The major growth segment, he pointed out is from Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV), from the previous 10 per cent increase to a threefold 30 per cent.  

“There is a short supply due to the local tyre manufacture owing to labour issues, and the majority of the Chinese tyre importers do not have inventory holding power. They were tight in available cash during the lockdown with the considerably high warehouse cost.  We have not encountered any supply shortage, as Falken’s factory in Thailand and Indonesia are less affected by Covid-19, and both have higher levels of automation. Thus, our overall supply is quite consistent, with a little delay for certain patterns due to unexpected demand.  Both Falken Azenis FK510 and ZE914 EcoRun are well received in the market.” 

Currently, Ku added, the market situation is better than expected. However, with the moratorium ending on 30th September 2020, all loan and financing repayment schemes will resume in October 2020, causing a decline in buying power.

Advanced 4D Nano Design to accelerate new tyre 

materials’ development 

Despite challenges and uncertainties in the market, Stamford Malaysia will continue to bring in new Falken products. 

“We are planning to launch two new tyres, one for passenger cars and another for SUV/CUV segments at either the end of this year or early next year. These tyres are the result of our cutting-edge proprietary simulation technology — Advanced 4D Nano Design.  This technology will utilise the K supercomputer and other equipment to perform the world’s most advanced material simulation and analysis, which allows Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) – the manufacturer of Falken tyres – to achieve significant improvements on the tyre’s wet grip performance, fuel efficiency and wear performance,” revealed Kong.

Kong said these two new tyres have received very good reviews in Europe and USA since their launch. “We should continue to improve and expand our product offerings as well as sizes at affordable prices to cater for the needs of motorists during these tough times.”

大马添福胶胎扩展飞劲数字足迹与影响力

飞劲轮胎的马来西亚独家经销商添福胶胎(马)私人有限公司,作为其全球形象的一部分,投资于社交媒体已经有好长的一段时间。2013年4月16日,他们创立飞劲马来西亚官方脸书。该脸书,在新冠肺炎大流行下,尤其是当马来西亚政府实施行动管制令(MCO)来抑制疫情的传播时,被证实是个很有用的工具。

根据Statista的资料显示,2020年最受大马人欢迎的社交媒体是脸书、Instagram、脸书信息及Linkedln。自2004年发布以来,脸书成为大马社交媒体用户中最广泛使用的社交媒体平台。Statcounter的数据显示,2019至2020年间脸书仍是排名第一的平台,占有84.32%的市场份额,接着是Pinterest(6.28%)、推特(3.31%)、Youtube(3%)及Instagram(2.29%)。这无疑显示马来西亚添福胶胎做了正确选择,大大利用其飞劲商业脸书页面来扩展他们在市场上的知名度和影响力。

“行管令期间,特别是从4月到5月,人们将更多的时间花在电子装置上。关闭非必要业务和服务,意味着大部分的人必须留在家里和居家办公。网购、视频会议、线上行 销、电子学习,学校和补习班也纷 纷将课程移到线上,家庭娱乐及线 上沟通。”马来西亚添福胶胎休旅 车、四驱车销售主管江泽纬表示。

行管令期间飞劲脸书页面跟随者人数提高50% 

他指出,飞劲脸书页面一直是公司很好的一个行销工具。“它加强了飞劲品牌识别和知名度。事实上,我们的飞劲脸书在封锁前已经拥有良好的互动和流量。但,我们是在行管令期间才真正见识和经验了它的威力和潜能,特别是在克服地理限制、提升市场知名度,还有与代理和客户互动方面。它协助我们与客户保持联系和相关性。我们飞劲脸书页面跟随者的人数比行管令前提高了50%。” 

高性能轮胎主管邱成耀补充说,飞劲的数字足迹有助于他们触及并开拓新市场。“我们接到许多来自东海岸和东马偏远地区有关某些飞劲轮胎款项的询问。政府延长免费1GB上网数据(不包括社交媒体和网络直播)至12月31日,作为政府短期经济复苏计划(Penjana),在一定程度上促进了数字化。” 

代理商受益于飞劲学院培训

江泽纬说,为协助和支持在不断受干扰和充满不确定性的市场环境里营运的代理商,为他们提供产品知识、应用及行销技巧的装备非常重要。

“许多代理商没有经过正确的培训。轮胎行业比较重视产品知识,而飞劲学院培训则产品知识兼应用并重。此培训能够协助我们的代理商按客户的汽车类型、使用、驾驶行为将适合的轮胎销售给他们。训练所有的代理商是我们的目标,我们原来的计划是在办事处新设立的培训中心,每月主办一次大规模的培训。然而,新冠肺炎的大流行,使我们无法实行原来的计划,只能在代理商各自的轮胎服务中心以小组的方式进行培训。”

此外,邱成耀表示,他们也鼓励和协助代理商建立他们自己的脸书页面。“传统的轮胎零售模式面对一些挑战,我们协助代理商发现新的营运方式,比如利用数字和全渠道基础。然后,我们将标记我们代理商的脸书页面或在飞劲官方脸书页面分享他们的视频和活动。配合飞劲脸书页面上的代理商名单,就能大大提升我们代理商的线上可视度,并为他们的业务带来流量。”

过去,他续说,代理商都会有存货。但是现在他们比较谨慎,偏向订购次数多,但数量都比较小。数量小却又急着取货时,代理商会就会采用按需和同一天交付服务供应商—马来西亚Lalamove所提供的服务。

江泽纬补充说,马来西亚添福胶胎也通过直接与代理商沟通,缩短他们的供应链。“直接与代理交涉,让我们能够更好地控制我们的品牌和价格,这对代理也有好处,他们的产品定价将会更具竞争力。对终端客户来说,加价率也较少。”

他看到了市场需求的回升。自6月10日进入比较宽松的复原式行管令(RMCO)以来,公司的销售提高了30至40%他指出,主要的成长部分来自休旅车(SUV),从过去的10%提高了三倍至30%。

“本地轮胎制造商因员工问题而造成短期供应短缺,大部分的中国轮胎进口商则没有库存持有力。封锁期间,他们可动用的现金紧张,仓储成本又相对的高。我们没有面对供应短缺的问题,因为飞劲的泰国和印尼工厂受新冠肺炎影响不大,更何况这两家工厂的自动化水平较高。因此,我们的总体供应相当平稳,只有一些款型因预期之外的需求而延迟交货。飞劲Azenis FK510和ZE914 EcoRun相当受欢迎。”

邱成耀补充说,目前的市场情况比预期的好。然而,随着暂停缴交贷款于2020年9月30日结束,人们就必须开始于2020年10月恢复缴付,这预期将导致购买力下跌。

先进4D纳米设计加速新轮胎原材料开发

尽管市场充满挑战和不确定性,马来西亚添福胶胎将继续引进新的飞劲产品。

“我们计划在今年底或明年年初发表两款新轮胎,一 款轿车胎和另一款休旅车/跨界车轮胎。这两款轮胎采用我们的尖端专利模拟技术—先进4D纳米设计而成。该技术将通过K级超级计算机和其他设备,进行世界最先进的原材料模拟和分析,让飞劲制造商住友橡胶工业株式会社(SRI)大大提升轮胎湿地抓地力、节油及磨耗表现。” 江泽纬透露

江泽纬说,这两款新轮胎在欧洲和美国发布以来就好评如潮。“在这个艰难的时期,我们应继续改善和扩大我们的产品供应和尺寸,以平价出售,迎合驾驶人的需求。”