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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As part of our tour around Automechanika Ho Chi Minh City, The Tyreman caught up with 31 Incorporated to talk about their ongoing developments and strategy in Eastern Asia.
For those, who are unfamiliar with 31 Inc, they are a manufacturer of professional tyre repair materials and supplies. This extends from string inserts to patches, patch plug, tyre repair chemicals, mounting and demounting lubricants, as well as tyre repair tools. The family company, which was founded in 1961 has now grown to become an international manufacturer of tyre repair materials that despite having most of their business in the USA and Canada now exports to 40 countries. Nowadays, 31 Inc has a manufacturing facility in China and a sales force in South East Asia.
With this in mind, Steven Van Dyke, Operations Manager for 31 Inc was on hand to talk us through their objectives for the show and strategy in South East Asia. “Currently, we don’t have a dealer in Vietnam, so mainly our presence at Automechanika Ho Chi Minh City is to look for potential partners to represent us in this market. So far, we have had a few good leads, which is undoubtedly encouraging.”
He continued, “we found dealers in Thailand and Indonesia following our participation at Tyre Expo Asia, so we feel a strategy of attending these trade fairs to find potential partners that we can work with is undoubtedly one that has been bearing fruit.”
In this search, Van Dyke explained that it was also their idea that these potential dealers could ‘co-brand’ with them. This would allow the company to benefit from collaborative dual promotions in the future such as attending local trade shows together to help raise the knowledge of their business as well as the brand itself. This type of arrangement has served 31 Inc especially well in Malaysia where the company work with Hock Lee.
This strategy, Van Dyke revealed was part of a new international focus to market exactly who 31 Inc are and where their specialities lie. He continues, “In the past we haven’t done too well internationally, but we are trying to change that. We want to tell the world who we are, as we are a company with a long history and a great story to tell.”
As part of their presence at the show the company were promoting their range of tyre repair products. The main item of interest was the tyre repair string, which is manufactured in the United States and China. Van Dyke explained that product allows for an easy and quick repair and was particularly useful in South East Asia, since many markets don’t have the requisite tools and materials available for sophisticated repairs.
He explained further, “What sets the tyre repair string apart from its low-cost competitors is its sheer product quality.”
The Tyreman also wanted to find out if they had discovered any trends about the Vietnamese market. Steven Van Dyke gave us an interesting response, “we came here not only to find agents and promote our brand but ultimately learn about tyre repair in Vietnam. We were expecting it to be similar to what we have experience in other markets such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. However, we have been finding that people take the tyre off the wheel and have only been using a patch when they should be using a plug as well.”
This evidently led to The Tyreman asking, “How do you convince people to start buying plugs?” The _Position_ had a straightforward answer. “Education is the key here. We need to educate people away from using basic products to quality solutions. Since we are already at the stage where patches are being used extensively, this illustrates that there is a massive market for plugs too.”
《轮胎世界》在参观越南胡志明市国际汽车零配件及售后服务展览会（简称胡志明市国际汽配展） 时，与31 Incorporated 谈到有关他们在东亚的持续发展和策略。
对那些不熟悉31 Incorporated的读者，他们是一家专业的轮胎修补材料制造及供应商。该公司的产品从钢丝胶栓修补（String Inserts）到修补片、补丁、轮胎修补化学品、轮胎拆装润滑油及修补工具。这家成立于1961年的家族公司，如今已增长成为国际轮胎修补原材料制造商，大部分业务在美国与加国的他们，产品远销至40个国家。该公司目前在中国设有制造厂，在东南亚则拥有销售队伍。
31 Incorporated运营经理范戴克（Steven Van Dyke）告诉我们有关他们参展的目的和在东南亚的策略。“目前，我们在越南没有代理，因此我们参加这次展会的主要原因是为了寻找有潜能，能够在市场上代表我们的代理。我们有找到一些有潜能的人选，收获算很不错。”
他接着说：“我们在参与亚洲轮胎展（Tyre Expo Asia）后成功找到泰国和印尼的代理商， 因此我们认为参加贸易展寻找潜在的合作伙伴是个很有成效的策略。”
他表示公司希望能找到能与他们“共创品牌”（co-brand）的潜在代理。这样一来，公司就能从未来的双重推广协作中得利，比如一同参加贸易展，协助提升他们的业务知识与品牌知名度。他认为这样的合作模式很有成效，特别是在马来西亚，31 Incorporated与福利（Hock Lee）合作就是一个最好的例子。
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