Sibu-based Fei Jet Tyre & Motor Service was established in 1996 as a professional motorcycle repair, and motorcycle and passenger car tyres repair service provider.
In 2008, Founder and Director Ngieng Hock Teck successfully set up Fei Yue Tyres Service Centre to become the first Michelin Service Centre (MSC) in East Malaysia.
“The Michelin brand is the most recognised tyre brand in the world and because of that I have always wanted to be associated with it. Our early business hardly saw any significant progress, so I planned to venture into a new area of tyre retail. Michelin is reputable for its quality and has a complete range. I believed that if we were able to carry Michelin’s signage, we would be able to attract not only more customers but those with premium purchasing power who seek high quality products and are willing to pay the price for it,” said Ngieng.
Thus he met with the then Managing Director of Michelin Malaysia to pursue his dream. “We are now an MSC (recently changed to Michelin Expert Centre) that offers one-stop services – from tyre sales, fitment, balancing and alignment, and repairs to automotive maintenance services and minor repairs. Our increasing sales volume, which reflected our partnership with Michelin, enabled us to grow our business.”
Apart from passenger cars, the centre also provides services for commercial vehicles. Ngieng came to know of many fleet companies because of the Michelin Expert Centre. Many were satisfied with the quality of products and services that the company provided. This led to the opening of a Michelin Truck Centre that was dedicated to servicing trucks, making sure that the customers received the relevant data that they required regarding the tyres and performance as well as emergency assistance. This was how Fei Yue Tyres Sdn Bhd, the first Michelin Truck Service Centre in East Malaysia, came into place in 2013.
“The truck tyre market has become very competitive due to the slowdown of the Malaysian economy. The situation worsened when logging companies that penetrated right into the heart of Borneo encountered difficulty in renewing permits and had to close down their businesses. Sibu’s truck market is flooded with many brands, not only from China but also from Vietnam, Thailand, India, Japan and Korea. The Vietnam brand has taken 5 per cent of the market. Today, the truck tyre industry depends a lot on the palm oil sector.”
First Michelin Tyreplus Opens in Sarawak
Today, under Fei Yue Tyres there are two centres – the Michelin Truck Service Centre and Tyreplus.
“Michelin started the Tyreplus automotive servicing chain in 2002 and introduced the brand to Malaysia in 2009. The Tyreplus outlets were introduced to deliver a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) with continuous training and audit, a professional ERP retail system and a Vehicle Check SOP. These gave the dealers an opportunity to enhance their professional skills beyond tyre services and to manage their consumers’ expectations for quality vehicle maintenance services that enhance safety. They further collaborated with BA partners such as Bosch, Tech, Total and Mobil in sharing the same vision for quality and professionalism. The concept was well received and Tyreplus outlets soon mushroomed across Peninsular Malaysia.”
According to Ngieng, many Michelin Expert Centre operators in Malaysia, including him, liked this new retail concept and wanted to upgrade to Tyreplus.
Associating with low quality brands, he said, would affect the company’s image. “Apart from doing twice the work, you will be wasting your time handling unhappy customers.”
It was not easy to run a tyre retailing business in Sibu, he said, as there were no highways and motorists generally drove at reasonable speeds and mostly over short distances. The wear and tear of tyres were slow, thus not many consumers would opt to buy a premium tyre. But the competition in Sibu was severe as there were not only many tyre shops but also tyre wholesalers. Despite all these, he decided to take up the challenge and opened the first Tyreplus outlet in Sarawak.
“Being a family member of Michelin, we are backed by its technology, training and extensive marketing campaigns and activities. They are very professional – from signage and shop layout to product presentation; Michelin is always behind us and supporting us. Furthermore, they focus strongly on training; whenever we tell them that we have hired new technicians, they would conduct training for us. However, with a great brand comes great responsibility. It is important that we promote the Michelin brand with integrity and effort. We have to make sure that we are competent in product knowledge to help customers choose the right tyre for the right application, and that we are sound in technical aspects and provide the best after-sales services.”
Professional skills and advanced equipment
Since pick-up trucks and four-wheel drives are the most common vehicles in Sarawak, the demand for 4×4 tyres is the highest. The common sizes, he said, were 265/70/15 and 265/65/17. “The feedback on Michelin LTX was good. Recently, Michelin launched the new generation of LTX, the Michelin LTX Force. This new tyre is designed to conquer all types of terrain and offer unmatched durability, superior grip on-road and higher traction off-road.”
At a glance, Ngieng’s Tyreplus assures any customer that it is well equipped with state-of-the-art tyre servicing equipment; guaranteeing that it is at the same pace of technological change and progress with the current tyre market. “Today’s customers are more knowledgeable and discerning; they are aware of the tyre servicing equipment that is used. We bought our equipment from Newera Equipment Sdn Bhd, a leading tyre servicing equipment provider that revolutionises the way tyre servicing is done by bringing in many innovative solutions from European companies.”
To obtain feedback and understand its customers better, Michelin placed an iPad deployed NPS in all the Tyreplus outlets. “We constantly strive to improve our approach and services. Thus, we would ask our customers to spare a few minutes to answer a simple survey through our NPS platform. The answers are sent directly to Michelin Malaysia. We are proud to acknowledge that we hold the Top Performer Score of the NPS survey currently.”
Apart from that, he said it was also important to keep the outlet clean and neat. “Michelin practises an annual audit and our efforts in creating a clean, comfortable and welcoming outlet image had won us the Michelin BIP Overall Audit Top Achiever award for three consecutive years, from 2011 to 2013.”
Passion and persistence are the two keys to Ngieng’s success. “We want to distinguish ourselves from the others. Besides creating a cosy and personalised retail experience, we adhere to using the internet for the greater benefit of our customers by providing them transparent information and data. We ensure prompt and hassle-free services to help customers save time for their convenience. Our well-trained technicians ensure that your tyre and automotive servicing requirements and needs are well taken care of with assurance. Last but not least, as the Michelin brand ambassador, we are sincere in providing you the best product and services that you can trust.”