CASE STUDY - SUBARU
Subaru’s Distributor Tan Chong Motor Image Group
Motor Image introduced Subaru to Singapore in 1986. The company has since set up companies in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia to let more people in the region discover and enjoy the difference of driving a Subaru.
We held several meetings with Tan Chong’s Purchasing and Marketing department. We shared the various product categories that we can manufacture under the Subaru brand and we brand-stormed for ideas.
Understanding Subaru’s Marketing Objectives
One of the idea’s was to build a Subaru loyalty customer base, and therefore customizing accessories under the Subaru brand was one of the options. We shared our electronic as well as non-electronic products. The initial products submitted were electronic products such as Bluetooth speakers, TWS earbuds, headphones, etc. However we also shared our manufacturing capabilities in bicycles as well.
Identified Pain Points
Tan Chong wanted to use complementary products to differentiate themselves from the market. Their past marketing campaigns include the Subaru Impreza Challenge which ran for several years. Subaru was a niche brand years ago, and they wanted to create the Subaru Impreza Challenge as a stunt to grow the brand. After our initial idea of electronics – car accessories, the next idea was much focused on bicycles. The reason was two-fold with the rise in popularity for bigger cars such as SUVs and 7 seaters many families plus the pandemic.
We recommended for Tan Chong a few range of foldable bicycles – at that time was in demand due to the pandemic and it is able to showcase the large storage space of Subaru’s larger cars.
After several discussions agreed to the project.
We recommended Tan Chong customization in terms of product design, color, weight, packaging and materials used for the foldable bike. After initial computer drawings were shown, we worked with our factory to produce working prototypes. We also got the Subaru brand logo to be imprinted onto the foldable bicycle using laser print process.
Before production started, we shared with Tan Chong our factory inspection report. The report showcase a summary of our factory’s capabilities and experience in managing global projects. At every stage of production, we give a timely update to Tan Chong on the completed production line. Example, after the bicycle frames are constructed we replayed the information to Tan Chong. In total, there were 8 different production lines to produce the foldable bicycles. We took photos of each stage of production and informed Tan Chong.
For quality assurance and control, every material used for production is examined by our QC team. And in total there are 8 QC tests that are done for a completed wireless headphone. One of the critical test is the folding mechanism, and we needed to make sure that the folding lock is secured to prevent accidents.
We completed the production in 42 days, 3 days ahead of time. We took a full day for quality inspection. Every foldable bicycle was inspected and after getting approved marked with a “QC passed” label. After updating the QC report to Tan Chong, we moved on to the next stage – shipment.
Product Shipment and Logistics
We stored the foldable bicycles in 5-ply carton boxes (we avoided 3-ply to give a better protection for the gift boxes). We also added additional protective sponges on the bicycles, specifically at the joints for a better safeguard. We informed our shipping company to be extra careful when handling the carton boxes. The shipment from China to Singapore took around 10 days.
The final push was to inform our Singapore shipping and logistics vendor to handle the stocks with care at the port during retrieval. With all shipping documents prepared, our foldable bicycles are finally shipped to Tan Chong’s warehouse.
Tan Chong was very pleased that the project was completed in time.
All foldable bicycles were offered a 1 year warranty. We provided a repair guide for the local and regional team. We also manage exchange within the warranty period. To date, no repairs or warranty claims were conducted.