GfK to Analyse Key Asian Tyre Markets
GfK Asia commercial director, Stanley Kee commented: “In Europe, we have been tracking the automotive since the 1980s and within the automotive sector, tyres [are a] key focus. We see our move as timely and as a long term investment although the industry is facing a difficult period. We anticipate consolidation and changes which will bring about new growth opportunities alongside global economic recovery,” said Stanley Kee, GfK Asia commercial director, adding: “In North Asia, Korea is an important market as Car makers like Huyndai, Kia; and tyre makers like Hankook, Kumho and Nexen expand and gain recognition globally.” About 50 per cent of the world rubber supply is traded via Singapore and recently the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) moved its office from London to Singapore. South East Asia’s key countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia contributes as high as 70 per cent of the world rubber supply for tyres, which confirms the importance of this region to the world of rubber supply.
“Malaysia is a crucial and domineering country in the tyre trade, and after [the Malaysia report’s] launch we plan to roll out Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Korea on top of China, as our initial phase of the automotive business. The second phase would include countries Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan,” Stanley Kee explained In the Central Region where GfK Malaysia will kick start its measurement of the tyre market, 91 per cent of the spare parts, garages and tyre specialists are independently owned, and this dictates the distribution challenge for any tyre player.
“Local brand does have a foot hold in the Malaysia market. Within the top five brands of tyres carried in the central region retail front, four are global and one, local,” GfK Malaysia general manager, Jennifer Chan commented, continuing: “Our survey shows that when buying tyres for replacement, consumer ranks good value for money as number one, ahead of brand selection followed by comfort of drive being third. This reflects the local and global economic sentiments and general consumer cautiousness, being pragmatic in spending.” GfK Malaysia sees the region split of spare parts shop, garages and tyre specialists excluding car brand service centres as 37 per cent in the Central Region, 26 per cent in the North, 23 per cent in the South, 8 per cent on the East Coast and 7 per cent in East Malaysia.
The ratio of 674 automotive vehicle to one spare parts shop, garages or tyre specialists, in Malaysia indicates good business opportunities but not without competition. “The automotive retail landscape is changing in Malaysia. Retail workshops and garages are now becoming more sophisticated in deciding product mix of stock to be in line with the demand trend. Gone are the days of high stock due to poor inventory control,” said Jennifer Chan. GfK Korea works closely with “Carpos” – which is Korea’s local Car Mechanic Industry Association, set up in 1999, consisting of about 16,000 members across Korea. GfK Asia commercial director, Stanley Kee was recently interviewed by “Carpos Magazine” (the association’s affiliated publication) during a recent visit to Korea. For those of you fluent in Korean, the content of the interview can be viewed at: http://www.carlnc.com/Dbg_Board/Board2/newcontent.asp?id=4289&boardname=people.