Nothing spoils a motorist’s day like a flat battery or a punctured tyre bringing a journey to an unexpected halt, and this experience is further exacerbated in Cambodia due to the few roadside assistance services available.
But this is changing, with local online tyre, battery and vehicle assistance company Smart Auto bringing peace of mind as it taps into the opportunities present in a nascent market.
“Smart Auto’s customised service van – fully equipped with a state-of-the-art tyre changing and laser wheel balancing system – will usually arrive within 30 to 45 minutes depending on traffic conditions. Our staff will then endeavour to complete tyre repairs or battery replacements within 15 to 20 minutes depending on the extent of service assistance required.
“We are the first to offer this kind service to the market. While we only started operations in June last year, and at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the reception we have received so far, especially for our mobile flat battery and tyre puncture repair services, has been very positive,” said Chea Vibol, Smart Auto co-founder and general manager.
And this is only expected to soar. A recent report published by international market intelligence firm Acumen Research and Consulting has indicated that the global market size for roadside assistance is expected to reach $29 billion by 2026, with it growing at a compound annual growth rate of 3.8 per cent.
With this latest service, Smart Auto is transforming the motoring experience in the Kingdom.
Set up as an online independent tyre and battery retailer to replace customers’ tyres and batteries with the utmost convenience, the company has trust at the heart of its ethos.
“I believe the first thing is gaining customer trust and providing satisfaction – and we are doing just that. As we build on this, in the future we believe we can capture at least 20 per cent market share from conventional retail stores.
“We are an independent tyre retailer with an online platform on which customer can find information on all the brands, sizes and prices of the tyres they are looking for to meet their requirement and budget.
“After confirming their selection and choosing the date, location and time best for them, a service van will go to the customer to fit the tyres,” said Vibol.
As well as empowering consumers to make the best decision by delivering the information needed to meet their requirements, Smart Auto further builds customer trust by offering competitively priced genuine products backed by generous peace-of-mind warranties.
These range between six months to a year for all tyre and battery replacements, depending on the brand.
“Tyres need to be replaced every 70,000 to 90,000 kilometres. How to replace them is a big decision for vehicle owners as this will impact the safety and comfort of drivers and their passengers. The life of batteries range from one to two years,” Vibol added.
He said the burgeoning online retailer is looking to further expand its services and the coverage of its roadside assistance.
“At present we only offer mobile battery and tyre services within Phnom Penh between 7am to 7pm seven days a week, but we are looking to expand beyond our service capacity once our mobile app is introduced nationwide in the near future.
“To make our services more accessible to vehicle owners, plans are also underway for Smart Auto to establish a club where members are charged an annual subscription fee to enjoy the current breakdown services offered as well as additional towing and roadside assistance services for free,” said Vibol.
The young entrepreneur is confident that Smart Auto’s business model positions it for strong growth as the Kingdom further embraces digital technology.
“Consumers these days are looking for better and more convenient ways to shop, with people switching to online and mobile digital platforms. And this also includes the purchasing of automobile parts such as tyres and batteries.
“With the introduction of 5G technology, demand will only keep growing as customers increasingly turn to direct shopping online from visiting conventional retail outlets.
“And with Smart Auto Cambodia continuing to build trust and expand our services, we are perfectly placed to grow with it,” Vibol said.