With news of the appointment of Didi Resources as the new distributor in Malaysia for Italian performance motorcycle brand Aprilia, paultan.org sat down with Juan Chow Wee, its general manager. Juan discussed plans for Aprilia Malaysia, as well as considerations for the take over of customer care from the previous franchise holder, Naza Premira.

“First off, we know we have a long road ahead of us to rebuild the Aprilia brand in Malaysia,” said Juan. “What we want to do now, we will engage with the customer initially,” Juan said, “and the workshop is ready to accept customer bikes.”

While facilities are available immediately for service, minor repairs and warranty claims, Juan said full-scale operations for both the Aprilia showroom and workshop will begin in September. The distribution agreement for Naza Premira ends this July 31 and transitions to Didi Resources on August 1.

“We will be looking into the current Aprilia dealers in Malaysia and there will be a realignment of the dealer structure,” Juan said, “and all the dealers will be re-evaluated and we are looking at the network to work with those dealers who meet Aprilia standards.”

Juan also said the aim will be to have a key dealer in every region in the peninsula – Central, North, South and East Coast. “What we are looking at is having the Aprilia flagship store in The Gasket Alley, supporting the regional dealers,” he said.

Current Aprilia owners will not be forgotten or sidelined during the transtion, said Juan. “Aprilia warranties and recalls will be supported immediately by us and we are aiming to get more owner involvement in the brand.”

“We have planned many more activities for Aprilia owners, such as rides, track days, meeting the MotoGP riders,” Juan said. “We are not just looking at selling Aprilia motorcycles, it is an ownership campaign. The meaning of what it means to own an Aprilia, why you should buy an Aprilia,” he said.

Asked about the 2019 Aprilia models that will be brought into Malaysia and when, Juan had this to say. “Right now our application for the franchise AP has been forwarded to the relevant authorities, pending due process and approval. We hope to have everything settled ahead of the Malaysian MotoGP in October.”

As part of the campaign to kick-off the new Aprilia Malaysia operations, a gathering of Aprilia owners was organised. Some 80 Aprilia riders turned up at The Podium in Kayu Ara for a dinner and viewing of the German MotoGP.