Continental Tyre Malaysia talk 1

Cameron Wilson, right

Since the company’s inception in 1871, Continental has been one of the leading tyre companies in the world. With a rich history in innovation, the German company has footholds across the globe, including in Malaysia, where it is known as Continental Tyre (PJ) Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.

Since the company’s foundation in 2003, frequent travellers along the New Pantai Expresway will likely spot the company’s Petaling Jaya production plant, which manufactures several tyre models for the local and export market. The company also owns a plant in Alor Setar as part of its local production capacity.

Aside from selling tyres directly to consumers, Continental Malaysia is also an OEM supplier to brands such as BMW as well. Furthermore, the company also expands its outreach to customers via joint-events such as the BMW Driver Experience.

At this year’s iteration of the event, we sat down with Cameron Wilson, vice president (marketing and sales), and managing director of Continental Tyre Malaysia to find out what the company has planned for its future here in Malaysia.

Products are a vital part of this future, and Cameron stated that the company is aiming to introduce new Continental passenger car tyres in the near future, with the ComfortContact 6 expected to debut in September 2016.

The company isn’t just looking to cater towards premium-end vehicles either, but also mid-range ones such as the Honda Accord with its upcoming UltraContact tyre series. The new model will be positioned between the ComfortContact and MaxContact tyres series, offering a balance between outright performance and comfort. These are said to be available next year, and will locally produced in Alor Setar.

Good products are one thing, and Continental tyres represent the premium segment in the tyre market. Naturally, most consumers have the notion that Continental tyres are “costly,” to which Cameron says that the company understands this perception, but explains that to produce the best performing tyre possible is quite a costly affair.

Continental Tyre Malaysia talk 2

He adds than even though consumers may have to fork out a slight premium, the benefits they gain is well worth it. Furthermore, the company has solidified its faith in its products by being the first in Malaysia to offer a five-year tyre warranty programme from the date of purchase, rather than the date of manufacture.

Fortunately, for customers who don’t require such high-performance tyres, Continental Malaysia also has brands such as Dunlop and Viking in its portfolio, where each caters towards the mid-tier and entry-level segments, respectively. In combination, all three tyre brands account for around a third of the overall market.

When asked if the company plans to introduce additional manufacturing facilities to expand beyond its Petaling Jaya and Alor Setar locations, Cameron said that the company will invest further into the Malaysian market, but is not at liberty to talk about specific plans. Cameron summed up by saying that Continental Tyre Malaysia is optimistic and fully committed to the Malaysian tyre market.