It has been 4 years since Stamford Tyres Malaysia kick-started its ambition to grow Falken presence further in the truck tyre segment. The company’s investment in branding, on-going tyre testing and introduction of various patterns and specifications clearly reflects its commitment.
“We had a soft launch of the Falken RI 151 truck tyre in 2018. Early last year, we tested the tyres on 10 trucks; each truck has a different application. From general cargo, container haulage to construction and many more. The testing provided results that were satisfactory and the tyre was officially launched early this year,” said SR Industries (M) Sdn Bhd Fleet Manager Chiang Chia Heng.
Fully imported from Japan, the RI 151 is Falken’s new generation regional truck tyre for the steer axle. The new tyre features some major improvements such as wider and flatter profile that creates a larger contact area with the road surface, which translated to higher mileages and more even wear. Its enhanced bead construction with nylon filler, which provides higher bead stiffness and endurance, enables the tyre to withstand heavy loads. A flatter footprint is achieved through its optimised contour shape that prevents rapid shoulder wear, which he said was proven through its use by fleet companies.
Other features include stone ejectors that prevent cut damage, help to prolong tyre life and reduce maintenance costs. The 4D Nano-enhanced compound with extra fine carbon makes the tread rubber tougher and reduces cost per kilometre. In addition, the tyre is said to have good retreadability, thanks to its tough casing and precise tread design.
Average mileage up to 100,000km
When asked about the mileage, he said the average mileage for the RI 151 was about 100,000km, which was comparable with the major brands.
“In short, the tyre is durable, versatile and safe. It has extra wear resistance with high mileage potential, excellent all-season capability and exceptional performance whatever the road condition, with optimum grip and traction.”
Currently, the R1 151 is only available in one size – 295/80R22.5. “In fact, this tyre has 11 sizes, including two light truck sizes – 215/75R17.5 and 235/75R17.5 – and other common truck and bus radial (TBR) sizes, which are quite complete. We plan to bring in the 315/80R22.5 later as well as other sizes in the near future.”
The RI 151 is competitively priced. “Many major brands of truck tyres are manufactured in Asean or China; only certain patterns are imported from Japan or European countries. Our strength is that all of our Falken TBR tyres are imported from Japan. Falken TBR tyres are manufactured by Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI), a Japanese global tyre and rubber company. To convince potential customers, we offer a special price for trial to allow them to test and see the value of our products.”
Investing in brand building
“We understand the importance of branding. A recognisable and reputable brand is one of the most valuable assets of a company. Thus, we are willing to invest in brand building and generate awareness about the Falken brand in the trucking industry and related fields. To do that, we have been consistent in communicating with our dealers and end users across many media including print, on-line and social media advertising, promotions, roadshows and campaigns with the goal of creating a unique and lasting image in the marketplace.”
Following the official launch of the RI 151, he continued, product buntings were put up at the company’s dealer tyre centres. “We would reward our dealers with a Sumitomo factory visit in Japan,” he added.
As for other new products, he said the company was currently testing the Falken BI 852 TBR tyres.
“The BI 852 is a drive axle tyre for regional use. We have installed the tyres on 5 trucks in various applications. To ensure that the product is suitable for Malaysian market requirements and usages, we would carry out testing for at least half a year before officially introducing it to the industry.”
目前，RI 151只推出一种尺寸—295/80R22.5。“事实上，该轮胎共有11种规格，包括两种轻卡尺寸—- 215/75R17.5和235/75R17.5，以及一般的通销卡客车子午台尺寸，可以说相当完整。我们计划在不久的将来引进315/80R22.5和其他尺寸。”
RI 151 的价格相当具竞争力。“许多的主要卡车轮胎品牌都产自东盟国家或中国，只有少数的款型从日本或欧洲进口。完全从日本进口的飞劲卡客车子午胎，正是我们的优势。飞劲卡客车子午胎是由日本全球轮胎及橡胶公司–住友橡胶株式会社（SRI）生产。为了说服潜在客户，我们提供他们试用价，让他们尝试并见识我们的产品价值。 ”
“BI 852 是一条驱动轴区域性轮胎。我们将该款轮胎安装在5部不同应用的卡车上。为了确保该轮胎适合马来西亚市场的需求和应用，我们会在正式将轮胎推出市场前，进行至少为期半年的测试。”