Stamford Tyres Malaysia Focuses on Two Star Products – Falken Azenis FK510 & Ziex ZE310R Ecorun

The  Azenis FK510 and Ziex ZE310R Ecorun tyres took the market by storm since they were brought in by Stamford Tyres (M) Sdn Bhd, the sole distributor of Falken tyres in Malaysia.

“These two highly praised tyre models deploy Advance 4D-Nano Design, the propriety simulation technology of Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd (SRI), which supports the development of new materials for high quality. Low rolling resistance, outstanding safety and durability are the three main requirements that car tyres need to fulfil. To provide progress in this area, the scientists and engineers at SRI, the producer of Falken tyres, conducted pioneering research into the molecular structure of tyres and the Advance 4D-Nano Design is the result of these advanced findings,” said Tyre Specialist ZE310R Moo Chee Fong.

Both tyres, Moo continued, 4D Nano design technology that enables Sumitomo Rubber’s engineers to develop a softer rubber compound for the ZE310R suitable for both Malaysian weather and its road conditions. The new multi-functionality SBR (Styrene Butadiene Rubber) has an increased layer of silica distribution as well as bonding points between the silica and the polymer. There is also a restraint on unnecessary heat generation of the tyre, which provides a strong grip on wet and dry roads, better traction and mileage, as well as other benefits.

This technology, he continued, utilised world-class, cutting-edge research facilities such as the SPring-8 Large Scale Synchrotron Radiation Facility, J-Parc Proton Accelerator and Experimental Facility and K-Computer supercomputer. By co-ordinating them, it was possible to analyse and simulate the internal structure and behaviour of rubber materials precisely and continuously from the nanometre scale to micron scale. The aim is to achieve balanced high performance in terms of the three inherently contradictory key tyre performance traits – fuel efficiency, grip and wear resistance.

“Comparing these two tyres respectively with their rivals from the major brands that were designed using the traditional technology, our products are ahead of them on performance parameters, especially in grip and comfort,” he added.

Azenis FK510 Stands Test of Time 

Head of High-Performance Tyre Ku Seng Yeow said the FK510, which was launched in 2018,

is Falken’s flagship Ultra-high performance (UHP) tyre catering for the premium market segment. It was still one of the most sought after ultra-high-performance (UHP) tyres

 among the drivers of premium vehicles until today.

“This reflects that SRI is designing products that stand the test of time. Previously, the Falken brand focused on penetrating the market through its economy value. With the successful deployment of Advance 4D-Nano design technology, Falken has become one of the leading brands in product performance in recent years.”

Equipped with Adaptive Constant Pressure (ACP) technology, the FK510 provided consistent pressure distribution across the contact patch. As a result, he said, directional stability, driving dynamics and braking performance were improved. The FK510 was hailed as a ‘wet weather hero’ that was suited to Malaysia’s tropical weather with heavy rainfall, given its shoulder blocks for high-speed cornering and lateral grip, four circumferential grooves for efficient water dispersal and enhanced hydroplaning resistance. The wet grip performance was further enhanced with variable sipe depth across the tread surface for controlled flexibility while maintaining overall block rigidity.

Also improved was driving comfort. Ku pointed out that when driven over rumble strips, the car’s ride was less bumpy.

Available in 105 sizes, covering 17 to 22-inch wheels, the FK510 was fully imported from Japan. It was designed for drivers of performance and premium European and Japanese car brands looking for excellent grip and outstanding performance. To meet the growth of the SUV (sport utility vehicle) market, Ku said SRI expanded its Falken UHP range by making FK510 available as an SUV tyre.

It is worth mentioning that the FK510 impressed the media teams from two major German magazines – Auto Bild and Autozeitung – in 2018. It won a top three place in the large-scale summer test performed by Auto Bild, earning a rating of ‘Exemplary’, while Autozeitung bestowed the tyre a ‘Highly Recommended’ label. Furthermore, the German association of technical inspectors GTÜ (Gesellschaft für Technische Überwachung), a German car inspection body, ranked the Falken FK510 first in its test of 11 different tyre models.

In the 2020 edition of Auto Bild’s annual Summer Tyre Test, the Falken Azenis FK510 in its 245/45R18 guise was placed seventh overall and named one of five ‘Exemplary’ tyres. The German title noted the FK510’s well-balanced performance in wet and dry conditions, consistent handling response, short braking distance on wet pavement as well as low noise emission levels. Again, in the more recent 4/2022 issue, the Azenis FK510 was awarded an ‘exemplary’ rating by German sportscar magazine Auto Bild in its summer tyre test, after placing third in the overall rankings. The FK510s were found to have performed particularly well in the most important area for high-performance tyres – safety – finishing high up the order in both wet and dry braking tests.

“Convincing driving characteristics on wet and dry road surfaces, dynamic handling, precise turning performance, short braking distances are the strengths that the testers at Autobild Allrad attributed to the FK510 SUV in its 2022 summer tyre test. Overall, the FK510 SUV came in at third place in the rankings with a rating of ‘Good’.”

ZE310R for performance and price-sensitive consumers

As for the ZE310R, which was called a ‘baby’ version of FK510, Moo said it was targeted at the middle and upper middle market segment. The creation of the ZE310R, he pointed out, was to satisfy the increasing need of performance-oriented and price-sensitive consumers due to the impact of Covid-19.

The ZE310R, Moo continued, featured an asymmetric pattern with optimised block rigidity distribution. Excellent levels of directional handling stability, enhanced all-round grip and the added benefit of even wear were achieved with the Adaptive Constant Pressure (ACP) technology, an ‘intelligently designed tread pattern’ that adapted to all situations to maximise surface area.

“Consumers would benefit from its excellent traction and grip on wet and dry roads, enhanced resistance against aquaplaning, shorter braking distances, improved quietness and ride comfort, good handling and longer wear life, “Moo said.

The ZE310R tyres European version- the ZE310 has won numerous high ratings from third party independent tests.

“In 2018, it ranked 3rd in the Auto Bild 15-inch Summer Tyre Test and was praised for its excellent aquaplaning safety, good steering precision and stable handling in dry, short braking distances on wet and dry surfaces as well as its low wear and relatively low rolling resistance. Then, in a summer 2020 Tyre Reviews Ultimate Summer Tyre Test, it came 3rd in the 205/55R16 category, demonstrating the shortest wet braking distance among rivals, with good aquaplaning, low noise level and competitive pricing also noted by the panel. All these positive comments enabled the tyre to win the title of ‘Highly Recommended’ 16-inch summer tyre.”

The ZE310R sizes are smaller compared to the FK510. It starts at 15 to 18 inches, with H, V and W speed ratings, in the 35 to 65 profile range. Moo said it would complement the company’s high-performance offerings to cater to the middle and upper-middle market segment.

According to Ku, despite the multiple lockdowns during the pandemic, the company not only met but exceeded its sales target for both tyres. This indicated that the company’s social media marketing strategy was effective. “We worked closely with our dealers and helped them post their activities and events on our Facebook page, for example, by featuring their tyre fitment pictures to attract customers. Additionally, we also reached out through product related video clips, live streaming and tyre reviews.”

To gather first-hand information on the products and continue to improve them, Moo added that the company also worked with various car clubs. Working with these clubs provided the company a direct access to car enthusiasts who were its potential customers in obtaining helpful insights and constructive suggestions on tyres as well as introducing its products to the car club members.

“We are glad that we have already invested in digital platforms and executed our digital strategy prior to the pandemic and are now in a position to leapfrog our less nimble competitors,” concluded Ku.