KYB keeps giving 'em the shocks

By CARSIFU | 7 September 2017

PETALING JAYA: After dropping the old brand name of Kayaba for KYB in 2005, the shock absorber maker has continued to move ahead with new mindset and innovation. CarSifu spoke to KYB-UMW Malaysia managing director Iwao Mizuno to get an insight of its operations in Malaysia.

Q. Are your shock absorbers developed using local or foreign technologies?Mizuno: All KYB shock absorbers use Japan’s KYB technologies not only in Malaysia but throughout the world.

Q. Are your shock absorbers designed for original equipment market (OEM) or replacement equipment market (REM)?Mizuno: We are able to design and develop shock absorbers for OEM and REM. For OEM, we adhere to the requirements and specifications from our customers.

For REM, we conduct our own research and development after getting feedback from the market and produce the shock absorbers accordingly.
We also produce “Heavy Duty” shock absorbers called RS Ultra and “Adjustable and Performance” shock absorbers called RS Pro.

Q. What are your other automotive products?Mizuno: We also produce power steering pumps for Proton and Perodua, and for export to Mitsubishi and China Motor in Taiwan.

Q. What are the types of shock absorbers that you produce?Mizuno: Basically, KYB Malaysia produces two categories of shock absorbers which are four-wheelers for automobiles and two-wheelers for motorcycles.
We are four-wheeler shock absorber supplier for OEM customers like Proton, Perodua, Honda, Tan Chong Motors Assemblies (Nissan), Isuzu, Hino, Daihatsu and a few others.

We are also two-wheeler shock absorber OEM supplier for Yamaha, Modenas, Suzuki, Demark, Daelim and others. We have also manage to acquire projects from Boon Siew Honda and SYM this year. Beside these, we also produce aftermarket shock absorbers for both local and export customers. Our products are exported to 38 countries worldwide.

Q. What makes KYB brand stand out from your competitors?Mizuno: Having the latest technology and a global network are among our strong points. We are very stringent on quality and KYB’s focus is “Right product, Right Quantity and Right Time”. Apart from those, the speed of responding to market demand is also KYB’s strength.

Q. What are your long term plans as a shock absorber manufacturer?Mizuno: We have embarked on a project called IF17 (Idea Factory 2017). This is to ensure KYB Malaysia maintains its “World Class Shock Absorber Manufacturer” status and is able to compete in the global market.

Under the IF17 project, KYB Malaysia has invested RM8mil on ED (Electro Deposition) Coating painting process which is now fully operational. We are the first shock absorber manufacturer in Malaysia to have this process. It has anti-corrosion capabilities and even paint distribution. It is also environmental friendly because the paint is water soluble and this safeguards against fire and most importantly saves energy and materials.

Q. Many are using Malaysia as a platform to produce and supply to the Asean region. Is KYB doing the same?Mizuno: We are exporting to over 38 countries across the globe with quantity of more than 800,000 pieces yearly. We will continue to improve our record as Malaysia is a good platform for producing cost-competitive shock absorbers.

Q. Are there any new products being introduced for 2017?Mizuno: We have come out with KYB new suspension kit which comprises of mounting, bump stopper, dust cover and spring. This new suspension kit complements each other to give vehicles a comfortable, stable and safe ride. It also helps the customer to make better choices rather than to depend on the recommendations of workshops or spare parts dealers.

With a complete KYB new suspension kit, you are re-assured of quality and safety as these components have gone through very stringent checks before they are put into the market.

Q. What is your vision for KYB?Mizuno: We want to provide technologically advanced products that are eco-friendly that satisfy our customers. We also want to develop our employees’ passion through innovative and continuous improvement activities. — EDDIE GOH