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Wednesday, 13 September 2017 | MYT 10:30 AM

Mister Tyre mobile app brings auto services to your doorstep

MisterTyre, a new app for on-demand professional auto care service, aims to eliminate the hassle of visiting workshops and pricing inconsistency for drivers in Malaysia. 

The platform, which is available on Android and iOS, offers services such as new tyre fitting, battery change, tyre alignment and balancing as well as engine oil servicing. 

However, unlike the existing automobile service business model, the unique selling point of Mister Tyre is that its service van actually comes to you, eliminating the need to locate the nearest workshop.  

“For example, you have a washing machine or refrigerator at home. You don’t carry them on your back and take it to the repair store when it’s broken. Somebody comes to you,” said MisterTyre founder Dennis Melka. 

“Why should you be forced to take your car to the workshop to be fixed? It’s not required in this day and age.” 

Another selling point is the itemised billing provided to users before any transaction is finalised, which Melka believes is a chance to disrupt the traditional auto servicing industry. 

“Our service is all about transparency. We are taking an industry which is not transparent and putting the choice at the hands of the customers,” he said, adding that prices can be easily compared with those offered by shops via a simple phone call or online search.

Step by step 

To make a booking or place an order for tyres, users will have to first register an account, specify their car’s make and model, and choose from a list of services on offer. For tyres, they would also have to key in their car’s tyre measurements. 

From there, users will be presented with an itemised bill and payment must be made in advance via credit card or online bank transfer before the order is finalised.  

Users can choose the date and time preferred within the app on a first come first served basis. The service is available from 8am to midnight, with up to eight jobs accepted daily. 

Most jobs can be done within an hour but simple ones such as oil change can be done within 15 to 20 minutes. It currently has one service van on the road, with another to be added very soon. 

While speed is one of the priorities, Melka insists the service does not compromise on quality as he claims all service personnel are professionally trained – some are even BMW-certified technicians, he added. 

However, MisterTyre is not an emergency on-demand service as users have to place their booking at least a day beforehand. 

Melka claims that there are no additional fees involved for MisterTyre, i.e. there is no special mobile delivery or service fee. 

Asked on how the business makes a profit without any fees, Melka said that it’s all down to efficiency.

“For example, the tyre goes from the manufacturer to a distributor, then maybe another distributor, and finally the tyre shop. It then sits in the tyre shop for four months before (reaching) the customer.” 

What MisterTyre does is eliminate the costs traditionally applied to the final price such as working capital, holding cost and inventory cost, and pass the savings on back to consumers, according to Melka. 

This is possible due to the lack of the traditional infrastructure to support, meaning that the tyres are sourced directly from the manufacturers whenever there is an order – similar to the just-in-time concept popularised by the Japanese. 

Due to the same reason, MisterTyre is also able to offer a wider variety of brands and tyre models unlike the traditional shops that rely on certain distributor or wholesaler. 

“We are not trying to push you a brand. We let the customers decide on what brand and products that suit them best, and offer the best service possible.” 

There are currently 23 tyre brands offered, divided into three segments – Value, Mid Range and Premium – ranging from RM250 to RM800 in price. 

Customers can also opt for other value for money options with brands in the market that customers might not have heard of such as Apollo from India, LingLong from China and Corsa from Indonesia. 

Disrupting the auto service industry? 

The idea behind MisterTyre came from a similar service that Melka invested in in Europe, where the whole tyre retail market is moving towards online purchases and delivery of the tyres to customers. 

However unlike Europe, the mobile auto servicing concept has yet to take off in South-East Asia, or Asia at large, he said. 

According to Melka, Malaysia is the perfect market to launch such a service as there are about five to six million cars on the road in the Klang Valley alone, along with an estimated 4,000 tyre shops. 

“There are roughly 10 million replacement tyres sold a year in Malaysia. If you compare that to western Europe, where about 25% of the market is done through e-commerce, if we would say Asia is as or more innovative than Europe, that means there are at least 2.5 million tyres that can be delivered through an e-commerce platform,” Melka elaborated. 

At launch, MisterTyre will focus on servicing users in Klang Valley but does not rule out the possibility of expanding to Penang, Johor Baru and Singapore in the future.