Here’s our conversation with Mr Bing Lin-Wu, Marketing Head, Maxxis Tyres India.
Tyres are one of the top consumed automobile ancillaries and it is not an unknown fact that the tyre industry in itself accounts for huge investments, business as well as product consumption. Amongst the total number of tyres sold for various vehicle types, the two-wheeler tyres have a larger share and hence, they are always in a spotlight from the business perspective.
As the domestic two-wheeler tyre market has enough potential for the tyre manufacturers to eye on a significant business growth, we recently conduced an exclusive interview with Mr Bing Lin-Wu, Marketing Head, Maxxis Tyres India to understand his views on upcoming opportunities, future plans and progress of Maxxis Tyres in the Indian tyre market.
1. How do you see your recent partnership with Suzuki Motorcycle India?
We had a great start this year as we entered into a partnership with SUZUKI. As per the association with Suzuki Motorcycle, we are supplying the leading range of Scooter Tyres for Access 125. The New Access 125 BSVI compliant scooters are fitted with tyres that are unique to Maxxis. i.e. Front: 90/90-12 54J M6302 and Rear:90/100-10 53J M6303. Suzuki Access is touted to be the topmost saleable model in 125 CC scooter segment in India. We are extremely elated about this partnership and confident that we will be able to forge a new market and penetrate deeper in SUZUKI’s portfolio with times to come. This partnership will also enhance Maxxis product portfolio and reach amongst masses.
2. What was the impact of COVID-19 on Maxxis’ India operations?
The Covid-19 pandemic did create a lot of disruption to the world. OEM’s are facing the most difficult times with the lockdown and commotion in production. We resumed production operations on May 4, 2020 at our Sanand plant, Gujarat. Maxxis India plant started operations in a graded manner following all government protocols of social distancing, limited workforce, and other safety measures for the employees.
The market is witnessing a spur in personal mobility with more and more people opting for two-wheelers, hence we foresee a steady movement for our business as well. We have witnessed significant growth in the sales of replacement tyres in the past 2 months. Sales in the month of July was 30% higher as compared to pre-COVID times (Jan-Feb). We are confident that the situation will get better by the end of this year.
3. How is Maxxis trying to provide a safer tyre buying experience to its customers?
Worldover, Maxxis is a name that reckons with safety and longevity. We aim to create a lasting impression on the mind of our customers with best-in-segment comfort and safety that Maxxis tyres provide.
We have the highest quality product offering which is a combination of superior raw material and world-class technology. We have the utmost confidence in the quality of all our products and hence are offering the best schemes and transparent claim resolution to our customers, including the industry-best 5+1 unconditional warranty with Maxxis 2-wheeler tyres.
We want to offer our customers a seamless and easy replacement service which no other brand is offering right now. Our idea is to build customer trust and hence, we provide a hassle-free ‘no questions asked’ replacement covering both manufacturing and non-manufacturing defects that cause the tyres to become unserviceable. This warranty is valid for five years from the date of manufacturing. Another aspect that is unique to our policy is that we provide ‘free of cost’ tyre replacement covering both manufacturing and non-manufacturing defects, valid for 1 year from the date of purchase.
To add to this, we have been advising our customers from time-to-time to adopt best practices for maintaining their tyres during the Lockdown and in Monsoons.
4. Many of your competing brands are selling tyres online. Do you also have plans to sell tyres online?
We have the “Dealer Locator” option available on the Maxxis official website, which is a unique and industry-first initiative. It helps customers to locate the most appropriate retail location for customers’ geographic area and this enables them to easily make a purchase. The dealer locator will advise them with the nearest dealership to minimise travel time.
Additionally, since the customer has to go to the fitter to get the fitment done whether the customer buys tyres online or offline; at Maxxis, we prefer to let customers personally visit the registered and authorized, established partner point of sales to complete the purchase cycle. This way the customer end up realising the full potential of the tyre he wants for his bike and if it’s fitting aptly or not.
5. What are the future plans of Maxxis for the 4-wheeler tyre market in India?
Currently, we do supply four-wheeler tyres to Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki and Jeep in India. We do have plans to produce 4-wheeler tyres in India. We are evaluating the market condition and will firm up our plans as per situation unfolds.
6. As we know that Maxxis currently has over 2000 dealers in India, how many more dealers do you plan to onboard by the end of 2020?
We have managed to set-up our dealer network to over 2000 dealers across India with a holistic Pan India footprint in a short span of 5 years. With the current COVID situation, we will review our dealer acquisition strategy by the end of this year and take necessary action.
7. Tells us something about the upcoming Maxxis tyres in India.
Various line-up of tyres for sports bike with different applications for road and weather conditions will be introduced in a very short time. We are evaluating the space of the market for more product introduction. Currently, our portfolio covers ~82% of the market’s users’ scenario and we plan to raise it more than 90% this year.
8. What are your most selling products in India?
Our M6182 in scooter segment is perfect for both serious off-roading and city driving. Its powerful directional semi-lug pattern gives great stability whether you are riding in a straight line or attempting a challenging sharp-corner-stunt. This tyre is suited for all weather conditions be it dry or wet, patchy or smooth land.
Another very popular tyre from Maxxis stable is M6304 in Motorcycle segment- The M6304 is designed for serious off-roaders. Its large tread blocks with deep grooves give more stability, better water channelling and outstanding durability. This tyre is perfect for all geographical and weather conditions and suited for long off-roading drives.
9. How Maxxis fares against its competing brands in terms of pricing and quality?
Maxxis, internationally is renowned for its quality and advanced technology. In India, we started production of commuter segment tyres for two-wheelers and India being a price-sensitive market, all our products are optimally priced and matches with the best of industry standards. Having said this, each and every Maxxis Tyre undergoes a stringent quality and process Test to meet the global benchmark and then only it is marketed.
It is the result of the best of the combination of price, quality and technology that in a short span of 5 years we have become the OEM suppliers to HMSI, Hero Moto Corp, Yamaha and Suzuki. This shows our steadfast spirit to produce advanced products for our discerning Indian customers.