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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Bintang Ramai – First Continental BestDrive Centre in East Malaysia
With more than 30 years’ experience in the tyre industry, Bintang Ramai Sdn Bhd joined the Continental family in early 2009 and became the first BestDrive Continental Passenger Car & Light Truck Centre in East Malaysia on 19th October that year.
Strategically located along Jalan Bundusan, Penampang, Kota Kinabalu, Bintang Ramai enjoys high traffic and great visibility. Easily accessed, the modern and spacious facility spans more than 1 hectare with 12 service bays. It is well fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and backed by a team of fully trained tyre specialists.
“We moved to our own premises here in September 2009. Initially, we also covered heavy commercial vehicles but we decided to focus on passenger cars and light trucks after experiencing the economic slowdown and the difficulty in debt collection from fleet customers. With significant growth in the sales volume of Continental tyres, Continental Tyre PJ Malaysia (CTM) approached us and presented the ‘BestDrive’, their global premium brand for tyres and automotive services network. It was perfect timing as we were looking for new ideas and concept to differentiate ourselves from the others,” said John Yong, the founder of Bintang Ramai.
Looking back, Yong said he made the right decision. “As a BestDrive Continental Passenger Car & Light Truck Centre, we could make use of this premium global brand to position ourselves as a specialised tyre dealer catering to the premium customer segment. Over the years, we have successfully attracted many premium customers.”
Partnering with CTM was indeed an enjoyable experience, both personally and professionally, according to him. Leong pointed out that CTM was very supportive towards their 5-year expansion plan and was willing to invest in them.
“This show how committed they are. To allow the customers to best experience the BestDrive Continental shop concept, CTM provided expertise and advice on our shop setup and layout as well as on creating a customer-friendly tyre changing and car-service environment.”
Apart from that, he said the company also benefited from Continental’s corporate resources, decades of technical know-how, training and premium marketing support.
In line with the concept of a BestDrive centre, Bintang Ramai offers a wide range of Continental tyres for passenger cars and light trucks, and provides more comprehensive services that include alignment, balancing, nitrogen gas, tyre maintenance and repairs.
“We are able to meet the most demanding needs and requirements, including ultra-high performance vehicle and luxury car owners in products and services,” he added.
Other complementary services such as Astro TV viewing, Wi-Fi internet connectivity, drinks, 10-point safety and maintenance check, service reminders and air-conditioned waiting room are available to customers while waiting for their vehicles being serviced.
Before setting up his tyre shop at the age of 29, Leong worked in his brother-in-law’s company that dealt with new tyre wholesale business and retreading for 3 years. From a small traditional tyre shop in 1979 that operated on rented premises to 4 outlets today, the company has come a long way.
“It is important to keep moving forward, especially during these times of economic turmoil. To stay competitive, we have to continue to upgrade ourselves, to be equipped with the best tools available in the market. Never rest on your laurels, in terms of facility and equipment as well as skills, products and service offerings.”
He also revealed that the company was in the process of expanding its service bays, from the current 12 bays to 22.
“Despite the market slowdown, we could maintain our business as we have developed a stable customer base. Working closely with the used car dealers also helped to generate new leads.”
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