Tyres. They support the weight of your ride. They absorb shocks. They transmit all kinds of forces to the tarmac. They are the reason your car can accelerate, brake, steer and maintain its motion. Often overlooked, but unquestionably essential.
Set to celebrate its 70th anniversary next year, the Toyo Tire & Rubber Company knows this as well as any. Established in 1945 in Osaka, Japan, it became the first Japanese tyre maker to establish a subsidiary in the US, in 1966. Stateside manufacturing began in the late-1980s; by then, Toyo was venturing into the world of motorsports, and quickly became a household name amongst both amateur and professional racers.
In the late-1990s, Toyo introduced the successful Proxes S/T sport truck tyre. This grew into the high-performance, race-inspired Proxes line that has continued to this day. In the 2000s, the company proceeded to expand into off-road and luxury segments.
Toyo Tyre Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s plant in Kamunting, Taiping
Toyo’s journey in Malaysia began with the establishment of the Toyo Tyre Manufacturing (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd subsidiary in April 2011, a subsidiary for the manufacturing of passenger and light truck tyres. The following year, it was renamed Toyo Tyre Malaysia Sdn Bhd, reflecting a marketing as well as a manufacturing company.
A state-of-the-art manufacturing facility was completed in May 2013. Located in Kamunting, Taiping in the state of Perak, the plant occupies an area of 148 acres. By 2015, its production capacity will have grown to five million tyres per year, and the number of employees to around 800.
Toyo Tyre Malaysia has also set up Toyo Premium Auto Centres and Toyo Auto Centres – a chain of retail outlets that provide a wide range of quality tyres as well as services such as wheel alignment, tyre balancing, engine tuning, suspension, rims and batteries. Knowledgeable and well-trained mechanics and tyre specialists meet the most demanding needs of customers at these outlets.
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Toyo Tyre Malaysia has a diverse range of products to suit many applications. For passenger cars are the Proxes C1S, T1R, T1 Sport and R1R, plus Toyo TEO Plus and DRB tyres. Additionally, the Tranpath mpF is designed for MPVs, while the Proxes ST II, Open Country H/T and Open Country A/T are SUV/4×4 tyres.
Depending on the product, a range of innovative technologies feature. Take Silent Wall, for instance – tiny serrations in the tyre tread walls disturb air flow, reducing pipe resonance and resulting in a quieter ride. Then there’s Multi-Wave Sipes – thin zig-zag slits in the shoulder block interlock under forward and braking pressure, keeping more of the tread in contact with the road. This allows improved wet and dry performance as well as reduced uneven wear and noise.
And it’s not just the product – cutting-edge technology is also to be found in development and manufacturing of Toyo tyres. An advanced CAD tool called T-Mode is used to simulate virtually every variable of vehicle dynamics, surface and driving condition (including slalom, braking, aquaplaning and vibration). A flexible automated production system called the Advanced Tyre Operation Module (A.T.O.M.) works to maintain consistency and quality at all times.
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All the technologies mentioned above are incorporated into the latest Toyo tyre to hit the Malaysian market – the newly-launched NanoEnergy 3, an eco-friendly tyre which aims to increase mileage and help you save fuel while providing a comfortable ride. Central to this is what Toyo calls Nano Balance Technology.
Nano Balance Technology takes the design of a tyre back to its very origins – the material, at molecular level. Analysis, research, design and production at nano levels help develop a compound with increased silica and active polymer, giving you a tyre that strikes a balance between low rolling resistance, wet grip, handling stability and wear life.
Toyo’s NanoEnergy 3 comes in sizes ranging from 175/65 to 235/45, for 14-, 15-, 16- and 17-inch rims.