After years of a close business relationship with Stamford Tyres Malaysia, the sole distributor of Falken tyres in the country, Balakong-based Metromax Tyre Services took the relationship to the next level. The company is now a Falken truck centre.
Metromax Evolution: Transforming into Falken Truck Centre
“Tyres that are imported from Japan enjoy zero-duty benefit since two years ago. This has narrowed the price gap between the Japanese and Chinese imported tyres, providing the former an additional competitive advantage besides quality and retreadability. Falken is well known for high quality Japanese engineered tyres. It developed a complete truck tyre range with various patterns that covers different applications. Falken truck tyres are safe, durable and good in quality and performance with extra mileage. Retreadability is possible with good maintenance of the casings,” said Metromax founder Steven Chang.
Steven expressed his satisfaction with the overall performance of Stamford Tyres Malaysia’s sales personnel. To him, they were client oriented and very responsible. One could feel that they were building a business and not just trying to close a sale.
“When we need their help and support, they respond quickly and effectively to our requests. It is also equally important to have someone that is experienced enough to understand not only the products and applications, but also the nature and challenges of our business.”
He also revealed that Metromax could fit into Stamford Tyres Malaysia’s culture easily as there were some cultural similarities between the two companies.
“As part of Falken’s truck centre network, we enjoy strong after-sales and technical support from Stamford Tyres Malaysia. We also benefit from the first-hand information of Falken R&D in truck tyres and the new product line-up,” he added.
Metromax is a one-stop tyre service centre for fleet companies, providing services from truck tyre retail to related services that include tyre fitment, wheel balancing, alignment and professional tyre repair, with the retreading service carried out by a third party.
Steven said the company had seen different business models developing in the truck sector over the last decade or more. Many service providers today did not just provide tyres but also assumed the responsibility in tyre management that included tyre supply, maintenance and fitting. Besides that, they needed a service network to cover any breakdowns throughout their fleet operators’ geographical range.
“There are various business models and approaches in the market. One thing for sure is we can’t compete solely on price but we can in the ability and speed in the response and delivery of our service. Our customers are mainly transporters and we understand how important it is for them to get their vehicles back on the road. To ensure that, we provide a 24 hours/7 days a week emergency tyre breakdown service for truck operators in Peninsular Malaysia. This service complements the others that we provide in our centre to offer our customers peace of mind.”
Steven took pride in Metromax on its more personalised customer approach. “We have 30 years of experience and expertise, and we are still passionate about the industry. We listen to our customers and we believe in providing a tailored service to every fleet customer that we deal with, as we understand that every business works differently.”
The objective, he stressed, was to provide customers with the lowest or most efficient cost per kilometre (CPK). “Knowledge, skills and experience differentiate us from the others. For instance, we are able to recommend the right tyre for the various applications, to note the tyre and wheel position to trace the problems back to the truck or axle, and identify the cause of tyre failure and irregular wear.”
Steven inherited the above mentioned strengths from the previous company that he had worked for.
“I worked in Kit Loong for about 12 years before I decided to set up my own business in 2000. I worked in the passenger car tyre division for about 4 years before being transferred to the truck division. The radialisation of tyres started in 1994, with more and more CKD (complete knock down) trucks being equipped with tubeless tyres. It was an important milestone for me as I not only witnessed but was also part of the tyre radialisation for commercial vehicles when it initially took place.
Metromax is the first Falken truck centre in the Klang Valley apart from Stamford Tyres’ fully- owned Falken truck centre in Port Klang.