Mary has over 20 years experience as the editor of our Malaysian sister magazine, The Tyreman. Based in Kuala Lumpur, she writes articles for us on the Malaysian and other South East Asian markets.
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Prometeon Tyre Group (PTG) — the former Pirelli Industrial that produces the Pirelli brand of truck, bus, agro and OTR tyres — is now able to function independently following the restructuring of Pirelli.
Let’s take a quick glance at the company’s blue and grey logo. The iconic elongated ‘P’ now takes on a new white look on a blue background with ‘Truck Bus Agro OTR’ stated at the bottom, to represent the company’s product portfolio.
In a recent exclusive interview with Renato Zilli, Chief Executive Officer of Apac, he shared with us his immediate focus, strategies, views on market trends and challenges.
“The immediate focus is to expand our presence in Southeast Asia, including Malaysia. Our market share in Malaysia is very small for two reasons. Lack of focus was one and the other reason was the high import duty previously. Malaysia imposed a 20-per cent duty on tyres imported from China. With 4 factories, 2 in Brazil and 1 each in Egypt and Turkey, we were not eligible in enjoying the zero per cent tariff for tyres imported from Asean countries. However, following the drop of the Malaysian import duty to 5 per cent on tyres from China and our ability to source tyres from that country, it allowed us to provide the Malaysian market with our premium range of Truck and Bus Radial (TBR) tyres with a more competitive offer.”
There had always been segmentation in TBR tyres, he said, and PTG was targeting the premium segment with the Pirelli brand. As a global brand known for its cutting edge technology and high-end production excellence, he said the potential of Pirelli had yet to be fully unlocked.
“Although Pirelli had a long history in the Malaysian TBR tyre market, PTG wishes to grow the brand further and better position it all over Malaysia. Thus, we would like to focus solely on the Pirelli brand at the moment. We believe that with its wide range of offerings, we could meet the various applications and requirements of the local truck market.”
The recent setting up of PTG’s regional office in Singapore and the appointment of Daniel Goh as Sales Manager, South East Asia, showed the ambition and substantive commitment of the company in the region.
“Goh is also responsible for the Malaysian market, taking care of the sales and aftersales service, including tyre adjustment. This would further instil confidence in our customer, despite the extremely low adjustment claim rate. It also allows us to gain a better understanding of market needs, respond faster and provide our dealers with products and solutions that bring greater value to their customers. In addition, it helps in collecting R&D input for product improvement and new products for the region.”
Being tailor-made, he said, was a very Italian attitude. As an Italian company, PTG tailor-made its products by taking road conditions, weather, environment and applications in the Asia Pacific market into consideration. He added that the company even came out with casings that were specially designed to suit regional applications and specific sizes. “At the heart of PTG’s group technological innovation are the Research and Development (R&D) centres in Milan, Italy and Santo Andrè, Brazil, where 100 researchers are employed. These R&D centres not only enable us to tailor-make our products for local adaption but also keep us at the forefront of innovative products. We have printed a proper product catalogue especially for the Asia Pacific, which demonstrates our efforts in providing the right products that deliver safety and greater value to this region.”
Zilli stressed that PTG would continue to expand its commercial presence in the market through distributor channels. “We would continue to work closely with local independent distributors who not only have good relationships with fleet companies but are also able to support them in tyre maintenance, repair and servicing. Tyres are a fleet’s second largest operating cost after fuel, thus it is important to take good care of the tyre pressure, alignment, balancing and so on to help prolong their lifespan and ensure their best performance.”
When asked about threats in the market, he said threats and opportunities always went hand in hand. When there was a threat, there was also an opportunity.
“We have quite a smooth beginning here. The fleet companies are looking to increase their efficiency and optimise operating cost. We see the opportunity to expand our presence as we have the right products that help them reduce their cost per km and a distribution network that provides coverage of our chosen markets. We came from Europe where the growth rate of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is about 2 per cent year on year, whereas in Malaysia the GDP growth rate is between 5 and 6 per cent; thus, we see a market that is dynamic and full of ample opportunities. We believe that infrastructure development projects and other relevant events would continue to boost Malaysia’s economic growth.”
With more than 7,300 employees and a commercial presence in above 160 countries, he stressed that the company continued to see Malaysia as an important market. Being strategically located in the heart of Southeast Asia, it was seen as the preferred gateway to Asean that had a population of 630 million.
“Our global aim is to grow our presence in Asia and we are ramping up our process to steadily achieve double-digit growth by 2020,” he concluded.
Prometeon轮胎集团股份有限公司（PTG） - 这家生产倍耐力品牌卡车、巴士、农业轮胎和越野轮胎的前倍耐力工业公司，在经过倍耐力的企业重组后，目前已经可以独立运作。
让我们看一看该公司的蓝灰色标志。标志性的大“P”经由拉长呈现在蓝色背景之上后以白色填充，底部则写着“Truck Bus Agro OTR”，代表着公司的产品组合。
“我们的当务之急是扩大东南亚业务，其中包括马来西亚。 我们在大马的市占率非常小有两大原因。缺乏市场关注是其一，另一个原因是之前的进口税过高。大马向中国进口轮胎征收20％关税。 我们有4家工厂，2家在巴西，1家在埃及和土耳其，我们并没有资格享有从东盟国家进口轮胎的零关税。 然而，随着大马对中国轮胎进口关税调降至5%，我们从该国采购轮胎的能力，让我们能够以具竞争力的价格，提供高档的卡客车子午胎（TBR）。
“意大利米兰和巴西圣安德烈的研发中心是PTG集团技术创新的核心，聘用了100名研究人员。 这些研发中心不仅使我们能够量身定制产品以适应当地需求，而且使我们时刻处在创新产品的最前端。 我们已经为亚太地区印制了产品目录，这表明我们致力于为该地区提供更安全和更有价值的合适产品。”
齐利强调，PTG将持续通过分销渠道扩大市占率。 “我们将继续与当地独立的经销展开密切合作。这些经销商不仅与物流公司保持良好关系，而且还能够为他们提供轮胎维护、维修和支援服务。 轮胎是继燃油之后，物流车队的第二大运营成本，因此妥善照料轮胎胎压、轮胎定位、平衡等，协助延长轮胎使用寿命，确保其最佳性能非常重要。”
“我们在这里有一个非常顺利的开端。 市场上的物流公司正在寻求提高效率和优化运营成本的方法。 因此，我们看到扩展业务的机会，因为我们拥有能够帮助他们降低每公里成本的合适产品以及覆盖我们所选市场的分销网络。 我们来自欧洲，国内生产总值（GDP）的增长率大约为2％，而大马的国内生产总值增长率为5％至6％。因此，我们看到的是一个充满活力与商机的市场。 我们相信，基础设施发展项目和其他相关活动将继续推动大马的经济增长。”
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