The obsession with making their cars look gleaming and sharp led three friends to start Regal Valet, an auto detailing business. MEK ZHIN has the story.
WHEN you love someone or something, all you want for them is the best. If you have a car that’s on the receiving end of this kind of all-consuming love, then perhaps it’s time you learned about Regal Valet (RV).
Tagged as the premier destination for all kinds of car styling needs, RV promises a thorough pampering for your prized automobile. Their aim is to make your car as aesthetically pleasing as it has the potential to be.
The company’s trio of founders are childhood friends Ng Soo Jin, Jerrod Ong and Kwong Wai Loong who — you guessed it — have a great love for their respective rides.
“Back before we started this business, we used to do our own detailing. Our weekends were usually spent working on our vehicles,” says Ng, who is the managing director.
In a way, their cars served as guinea pigs of sorts, having to undergo all kinds of treatments that the three tried oin their quest to keep their vehicles looking sharp.
“The kind of detailing we could get then was not really properly done. The normal ones are bundled wax and polishing services, but that just provided temporary shine and the effect wears off easily in our kind of weather,” Ng explains.
Finding a gaping need in the market for high-quality detailing, the three freinds decided to go into business, and thus Regal Valet was established in 2010.
Its current flagship outlet, along Jalan Damansara near Sungai Penchala, was opened earlier this year. It replaced both the Taman Tun Dr Ismail and Bangsar outlets.
One of the services offered at RV which has the most visibly noticeable effects is paintwork recovery. What it entails is the removal of a car’s paintwork imperfections, such as swirl marks, fine surface scratches, watermarks, holograms and lacklustre paintwork.
“In essence, we smoothen the surface. And once the entire process is completed, the paintwork gleams with a mirror-finish,” Ng says.
RV utilises a silicon dioxide base coating protection in lieu of wax. This is because it has superior integrity, thus able to give better protection for a car’s paintwork, including minor scratches, while maintaning high clarity and transparency for the paint and finishing.
Currently, RV has three coating options which last from one year to five years for compact, sedan, SUV or MPV, supercar and Roll-Royce vehicles, priced from RM1,500.
The company also provides other aesthetic services such as body and spray works, interior cleaning, headlamp restoration, window tinting, hydrophic glass treatment, as well as restoration works.
Kwong, who is the finance director, says customers usually grow to trust them more and more with every visit. Occasionally, some ask for other services not on the list.
“They trust that we will do a good job of it, and they rely on this. We have had all kinds of requests that we do try to accommodate,” adds Kwong.
According to Ng, they have noticed the increase in awareness among car owners when it comes to their car’s aesthetic maintenance.
“Before, it used to be that people will only send their car for detailing some time after they have owned the car because the imperfections had built up over time. But now people are thinking about protecting their vehicles from day one.
“This is particularly prevalent among those who just bought their first luxury cars,” he says.
Kwong adds that people who did proper detailing from the start are likely to find that the car’s maintenance is much easier to manage in the long run.
Ong, who is the marketing director, says there is also another new trend: women drivers.
“There has been increasing number of women who are getting their cars detailed with us, and it’s not that they’re just curious about it.
“They come in having done their own research, and they have very detailed and technical questions for us. There is definitely an increased number of women out there today who care more about their cars,” says Ong.
RV is currently the official detailer in Malaysia for Quill Automobile (which holds a BMW dealership and is the sole Rolls-Royce dealer), Honda Millennium Auto Carriages and Lotus Cars Malaysia.
Ng says they are definitely looking into the possibility of becoming a true one-stop centre for everything a car needs, beyond just the aesthetics.