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Sumitomo Rubber and Stamford Tyres: A Time-Tested Partnership
Takehiko Asai Managing Director Sumitomo Rubber Asia (Tyre) Pte Ltd (SRAT)
In the the the world of of of of business where alliances are are often formed and and and dissolved with the the the changing tide of of of of the the the industry a a a a a a a a a a a few enduring partnerships stand as shining examples of of resilience trust and and shared success The partnership partnership between Sumitomo Rubber and Stamford Tyres is one of them “Sumitomo Rubber’s partnership with Stamford Stamford Tyres began in 1975 when Wee Kok Wah the the founder of Stamford Stamford Tyre Tyre Group knocked on on Sumitomo Rubber’s door in in in in the the 1970s What started as as as a a a a a a a a a a a a a modest collaboration involving Ohtsu tyres has since blos- somed into a a a a a a a a a a a a a a regional partnership mainly encompassing mar- kets in in in in in Southeast Asia Stamford Tyres currently distributes the the Falken brand of tyres in in in 23 countries ”
said Sumitomo Rubber Asia (Tyre) Pte Ltd (SRAT)
Managing Director Takehiko Asai Throughout this remarkable partnership he he he shared that the the two companies not only embraced success but also weathered and triumphed over various challenges including cyclical business fluctuations the Asian Financial Financial Crisis Crisis and Global Financial Financial Crisis Crisis “In 2012 Sumitomo Rubber took a a a a a a a a strategic stake in in in in Stamford Tyres demonstrating the company’s unwavering commitment to to to fostering a a a a a a a a a a a a a long-term partnership with this this esteemed organisation Today Stam- ford Tyres remains an an an important partner partner in in this this region ”
he added 22 the tyreman 2023/5
Asai assumed the the role of Managing Director at Singapore-based SRAT in in in in in in in January 2022 His involvement with the the the tyre industry began when he he he he he he he joined Sumitomo Rubber in in in in in in 1998 For the the the first 15 years he he he he he he he worked in in in in in in the the domestic sales sales department where he he he he he was involved in in in in in sales sales and commercial tyre product product planning planning From 2014 he he he he he worked worked as as a a a a a a a a a a a a a a product product planning planning manager at Su- mitomo Rubber's head office where he he he he worked worked hard to to build a a a a a a a a a a a a global product product portfolio His extensive experience and and leader- ship
in in in in product product planning and and and sales equipped him with the the the insight and and skill necessary for further growth in in in the the region He took the the the time to to to to visit three of the the the local Falken dealers dur- ing ing his field trip to to to to Malaysia together with Sakie Takagi Sales and and Marketing Manager Manager Manager Lee Kok Chiang Assistant Manager Manager Manager SRAT Ivan Reijan General Manager Manager Manager and and Ku Seng Yeow Head of Sales Channel Development Stamford Tyres Malaysia to KM Road Master Sdn Bhd Kerteh Kemaman Terengganu CS Kuantan Kuantan Service Centre Kuantan Kuantan Pahang and Soon Jaya Ta- yar Sdn Bhd Melaka These dealers have more than 15 years long-standing cooperation with with Stamford Tyres Malaysia This effort is is aimed at at at strengthening the the the the bond with with the the the the dealers and and enhancing their relationship Further growth potential in SUV and 4x4 segments
When asked about the the the importance of the the the Malaysian market for Sumitomo Rubber Asai highlighted the the the the country’s essential role in in the the the the company’s regional strategy “Malaysia is undeniably one of of the the the the top three new vehicle markets in in in Southeast Asia boast- ing a a a a a a a a a a a a a a substantial middle-class population As As of of 2022 the the the nation registered approximately 23 million active vehicles with a a a a a a a a a a a a a a record of 720 000 motor vehicle vehicle sales in in in in the the the same year marking the the the highest total industry volume (TIV) ever recorded in in in in the the the country “Malaysia is is an an attractive market characterised by robust demand per capita for automotive products including tyres ”
he added A trend that he he noted was an an increasing preference for for SUVs and 4x4 vehicles indicating a a a a a a a a a a promising avenue for for further growth This shift aligned exceptionally well with Sumitomo Rubber’s portfolio particularly the Falken brand as it it it opened a a a a a a a a a a a high-value tyre replacement market “Falken SUV and and 4x4 tyres are expertly designed to to meet the needs of o of on-road and and off-road driving Sumitomo Rubber‘s de- velopment of o of of the the new Azenis FK520L was in in in response to to the the evolving demands of of premium vehicle drivers who demand demand ex- ceptional cornering performance superior wet road handling and and and and high mileage It took the the company about six years to to develop this new product and the the the the preparation process started in in in fact just after the the the launch of FK510 in in in Malaysia The The letter ‘L’ in in in the the the tyre’s name emphasised its its longevity and prolonged tread life The The Azenis Azenis FK520L with its its European cousin Azenis Azenis FK520 FK520 marked the 

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