Personality Q&A with Eugene Yong, Senior Manager Automotive of Nippon Paint Malaysia

Komyosha was established in Tokyo by Jujiro Moteki in 1881. It was not until 1898 that the company was incorporated and renamed Nippon Paint. This marked the birth of a full-scale modern paint industry in Japan. In Malaysia, the brand has established itself since 1967, and today is the top third brand in the refinish market of automotive coatings.

Nippon Paint entered the automotive OEM market in the mid-70s, and was the first Paint manufacturer to supply the Pearl system to the OEM segment for mass production cars during the late 1980s automotive boom.

 

Here the pull test is meant to determine the adhesion strength of the paint to the surface layer.

To reflect the Asian continent that is rich in diversity, the brand has focused not just on innovating colours, but products as well. The industry first Cyglaz automotive paint features a strong molecular structure that has better scratch, chemical and gasoline resistance, as well as innovative self-healing properties.

We speak to Eugene Yong, Senior Marketing Manager for Automotive at Nippon Paint Malaysia and question about car care and the brand's future in paints.

 

Eugene Yong (right), Senior Manager Automotive, with Ong Eng Keong (left), Assistant GM of Industrial Unit of Nippon Paint Malaysia.

In the various survey’s done by the brand, do you think generally Malaysians select their car’s colour based on their personality, or one that would be easier to clean, or even based on its resale value?

EY: Based on a recent survey we had carried out, 71% of Malaysian car owners would choose to change their car colour if they were given a choice. In fact, they would may select a car colour to suit their individual personality and preference. In another finding, 56% of Malaysians would prefer to respray their cars in non-conventional and vibrant colours which could be an interesting reflection of Malaysian’s take on colours for their cars – probably due to the unique exposure to a rich mix of multicultural heritage.

On the other end of the spectrum, however, are the practical side of Malaysians who believe that a hassle-free maintenance is ideal for their busy lifestyle. Hence, there are some who would prefer Black as a to-go-to colour to conceal dirt marks but being at risk of having to deal with obvious scratch marks. There is also another group of individuals who believe that White would be a better colour to conceal scratch marks and willingly send their car for frequent washes to remove the obvious dirt marks. Looking at the pros and cons of both conventional colours, it’s no wonder that silver and grey are seen to be popular OEM colour choices among Malaysians. 

 

What are the common misconceptions people have about taking care of their car’s paint?

EY: Getting a new car detailed frequently, from the point of purchase is a necessity. Thorough cleaning and reconditioning of the interior and exterior of the car, from top-to-bottom goes a long way in protecting the coating of a car. However, frequent polishing may cause the opposite effect for the car paint, which is the thinning of the already present protective clear coating. This exposes the car’s coating to even higher risks of being damaged by environmental factors such as stone chips and constant Ultra Violet (UV) Ray exposure.

 

Quite a lot of Malaysians have cars that have scratches, stone chips and etc, what is your advice to conceal these defects?

EY: Over a period of time driving on the road, the surface coating of the car may experience fine scratches and swirl marks, gloss drops, stains from bird droppings and petrol marks. Experiencing scratches and chipping for car coatings are inevitable. These marks may be quite unsightly, depending on the severity of the damage. There are various aftermarket solutions that could solve the issue of fine scratches and stone chips through part replacements of the car. Unfortunately for marks that are deep, it would most likely have damaged the paint film. The best way to remove these deep and severe marks is by repainting the surface of the car to give it a brand new look, free of blemish. It may be a costly option but on the bright side, it is an excellent opportunity to change the colour of the car with Nippon Paint’s Trend Colour for Mobility to reflect the true personality of the owner!

As The Coatings Expert, what are your tips and advice for general paint car care especially in Malaysia, where there’s heat, rain and exposure to nature all year round?

EY: Always remember that car paint in its original form has a fair standard of durability in maintaining the overall condition of the car paint including its gloss and protection. It is advisable to conduct regular cleaning of the car to remove dirt and other stubborn marks on the surface of the car. Polish a car only when it is absolutely necessary, at a maximum of only 4 times a year. If the damage is too deep into the protective clear coating, it would be a good time to reconsider respraying the car. Not only will the car look brand new, it would also have greater resale value.

It is recommended to always use quality coating products to ensure a smoother finish and longer lasting coating especially in humid weathers such as Malaysia’s.

What about washing tips? Cloths, soaps, and polishing?

EY: When it comes to washing cars, remember to wash only when necessary with quality cleaning solutions and clean microfiber towels. Avoid over polishing of the car, as it thins the existing protective clear coating of the car.

 

What is the future of paints, and what is Nippon Paint aiming to achieve in the near future?

EY: Leveraging on Nippon Paint’s Trend Colour for Mobility, we will continue to innovate car colour solutions to meet the changing needs of consumers.  The Research and Development team is constantly developing products to cater to the demands of both car owners and applicators in terms of quality and efficiency.

 

From a marketing perspective, we are always working towards ensuring that Nippon Paint is always in the consumer’s top of mind for automotive refinish. To further reinforce our position apart from our competitors, Nippon Paint is actively involved in automotive events such as Auto Fest which took place in 2016 and Malaysia Commercial Vehicle Expo (MCVE) in 2017.

 

Apart from driving sales for our car paint, it has always been our focus to inspire car owners to take on car repainting as a culture, to encourage them to explore various colour possibilities for their cars and for us to continuously introduce better and more innovative automotive solutions which are relevant for our consumers.

 

Did you know that given a chance, 71 per cent of Malaysian owners would change their car colour. Click here to check out Nippon Paint's Trend Colours for Mobility 2018/19.

 

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