The independent workshop business model will go through an innovative leap, through the Integrated Workshop (i-Workshop) in Penampang.
The Integrated Workshop is an initiative by the Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) in collaboration with Great Plus Auto Parts (Petagas) Sdn. Bhd. as the anchor company.
The announcement was made today by MARii CEO, Dato’ Ts. Madani Sahari and Datuk Chee Chi Vun, Chairman of Great Plus Auto Parts (Petagas) Sdn. Bhd. in MARii Satellite Sabah, Kota Kinabalu.
The i-Workshop concept is built on a collective of aftersales business entities, integrated within a one-stop vehicle service facility. Each entity brings in their own specialised expertise to the Integrated Workshop ecosystem – thus creating a complete automotive solution under one roof.
“The concept behind the i-Workshop is unique, and is a model that lowers barriers to entry for entrepreneurs venturing into the aftermarket sector. As automotive products evolve to become more complex in nature, the after sales sector will demand a higher degree of specialisation, as well as the equalisation of the playing field to allow more specialisations to enter the market”, said Dato’ Madani.
“This is where the Integrated Workshop model comes into play. The i-Workshop, opens opportunities for Sabahans to expand their business portfolios, giving them more access to a wider market reach. Access to more jobs and businesses will also be available to the aftermarket community of Sabah. This is the kind of rethinking needed in the aftermarket business structure, and we plan to establish i-Workshops in all states in Malaysia.”, he added.
Dato’ Madani further stated that that the i-Workshop concept is also designed to address specific issues affecting independent workshops today – particularly those that operate as micro or small businesses, and do not have the required capacities to cater to all disciplines of the automotive service market.
The i-Workshop concept allows for small, independent workshops to specialise in a more focused area of automotive service, reducing investment risks – yet are given access to a larger market due to the collaborative nature of the business model. This allows for more business and job opportunities to be created, and the lowering of entry barriers into a high technology market.
“The i-Workshop will be developed on a 2 acre (87,000 square feet) land located less than 10 kilometers away from Kota Kinabalu city center. It is a location that is highly accessible and has potential for larger expansion in the future”, said Datuk Chee Chi Vun.
Datuk Chee explained that the i-Workshop focus areas include service and repair, tyre and rims, engineering works, performance and dyno tuning, body and paint, parts supply base and motorcycle-based services.
However, the Integrated Workshop model does not exclude non-automotive businesses – it includes lifestyle retail and services such as hairdressers, laundry, eateries or even entertainment – making the i-Workshop concept a viable solution to diversify and expand the business operations within the aftermarket sector.