How a TRD fan looked for Altis parts, but eventually found a family



toyota corolla altis trd singapore

When one passionate Corolla Altis driver embarked on a modification journey, he knew there was only one companion to seek: Borneo Motors

SINGAPORE — According to marketing-speak, customer service is the act of taking care of the customer’s needs by providing and delivering professional, helpful, high quality service and assistance before, during, and after the customer’s requirements are met.

That’s a notion that Toyota’s authorised distributor Borneo Motors is keenly attuned to. Just ask Lau Wee Seng, 36, who’s been a loyal customer ever since his first Toyota, from car purchase to servicing, even beyond the warranty period.

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A German trained industrial X-ray engineer, he’s by nature finicky about details beyond what lies beneath the surface. Little wonder, then, that he prefers to stick with the trained hands at Borneo Motors.

And within the Borneo Motors family, two names immediately come to mind for him: Service Advisor Michael Tee and Sales Engineer Lim Ling, both of whom understand how important a car is to Wee Seng on a daily basis, and are always willing to lend a helping hand wherever possible.

In turn, Wee Seng, impressed by her service and how she manages to have cars delivered earlier than scheduled, doesn’t hesitate to recommend potential customers to Lim Ling.

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His first Toyota was a Vios which he drove all the way until its COE expired, without any problems. That’s something he credits to servicing it with his authorised distributor, Borneo Motors.

“The reliability of Toyota is number one, I’ve chalked up over 400,000 km on the odometer, and even though the mileage is high, it was in tip top condition and ran like new,” says Wee Seng. “Even past the warranty period, I return to Borneo Motors for servicing because I feel reassured of the quality of the workmanship.”

Citing an example, he recalls, “My Vios was almost ten years old when I drove it up to Cameron Highlands for a wedding dinner and back to Singapore the very same day. I hardly rested the car yet it made it there and back problem-free.”

“That’s the kind of confidence I have in Borneo Motors, I wasn’t worried about engine or gearbox issues at any time,” he says.

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Wee Seng firmly believes the benefits of having his Vios agent-maintained far exceeds the negligible cost savings of servicing at an external workshop, “After discounts, I find the price comparable, and there’s the assurance and personal service I receive from the staff who have now become trusted friends over the years.”

And it is Service Advisors like Michael who has Wee Seng looking forward to servicing his car and declaring that it’s fun to maintain and own a Toyota.

Apart from the promptness and efficiency in getting his car serviced and returned in double quick time, Wee Seng feels that there is almost a family-like atmosphere at Borneo Motors.”Over the years, I’ve come know most of the staff here at Borneo Motors, and I converse in the dialect or language the person is most comfortable with,” he says. “It helps to develop a relationship.”

lau wee seng toyota sg altisOur man asks engineer Lau Wee Seng to fix his tricorder…

When the time came for Wee Seng to get a new car, he discovered he was never quite as comfortable as he was when visiting the Toyota showroom, “For some reason I’m very happy when I’m here, I feel so welcome and at home, like visiting an old friend. So naturally I decided to go with another Toyota after my Vios.” And it was the 11th generation Toyota Corolla Altis that he was drawn to, practical and sportier in looks that it was.

Then while browsing the internet, he chanced upon a full range of TRD (Toyota Racing Development) products for the Altis, which at the time, wasn’t readily available locally.

Excited, Wee Seng ordered the full range based on a brochure alone, and Borneo Motors was kind enough to make special arrangements at the time to have his Altis fitted in full TRD glory upon delivery. “I was really happy when I first laid eyes on my car, and I knew exactly which one it was among all the other Altises. Totally different, so much sportier and special, it was mine.”

All eyes were on Wee Seng’s Altis, even those of the service staff, with a security officer asking if he was driving a Toyota. “To the best of my knowledge, I was the first to have a Toyota Corolla Altis delivered in full TRD kit,” he says. “It may cost more to buy all original, but I know that I am getting quality and have peace of mind built into the price of the product. And my car is unique, I have the only carbon fibre bonnet in Singapore which was a prototype developed for a Thai race event.”

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Starting a pictorial diary on Facebook followed, which consequently ended up as a point of visual reference for Borneo Motors after sales division customers. Then other Altis owners took notice and began asking Wee Seng for advice on the where and how to get their hands on TRD kit, and before long, New Altis Group SG was born and began to take on a life of its own.

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Now a community with a shared love of modifying the Altis, Wee Seng, because of his passion and in depth engineering knowledge, has been dubbed the ‘master’ with his ‘batmobile’. As to its purpose, he explains, “We invite potential Altis owners to join our group, and help them to understand why choose an Altis, and how to best get the TRD look, safely and effectively. I’m a strong advocate of not cutting costs at the expense of safety, and I serve to help other enthusiasts understand that. I try to help where I can so others can create an Altis they can call their very own.”

And why does Wee Seng go the extra mile? “I treasure friendship, and like making friends more than enemies. I never expected that my love for the Toyota Corolla Altis and TRD would result in the many friends I have today, from Borneo Motors to the New Altis Group SG.”

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His tip on how to get good customer service, “It takes two hands to clap, be sincere, reasonable and ask nicely. I admit I am a good customer, that’s why people like me and I like them, and they’re willing to go the extra mile for me as I am willing to do so for them.”

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