03 Jul 2023

Revving Through Generations: 10 Questions with the Tan Family

  • Culture

In the ever-evolving landscape of Singapore’s automotive industry, the Tan Wei brand has been a consistent presence, navigating through the changing tides of consumer preferences and technological advancements. Founded as Tan Wei Auto Pte Ltd in 1995 and later expanded to Tan Wei Motorcycles, the brand has become synonymous with quality, passion, and a commitment to the riding community.

In this candid interview, we chat with the two-generation bosses – Mr. Tan, the pioneering founder, and Yann Tan, the forward-thinking leader who carried the legacy into the motorcycle era.

Revving Through Generations: 10 Questions with the Tan Family
1. Can you take us back to the humble beginnings of Tan Wei Auto Pte Ltd in 1995? What motivated you to venture into the automotive business?

 Mr. Tan: “In 1995, the automotive landscape in Singapore was thriving, and I saw it as an opportunity. So, together with a few close friends who shared the same passion for cars, we got a unit at Tagore Used Car Centre and started the business. When the government took back the land for redevelopment, I moved the business to where we are now, at Tagore Lane

2. What was the most memorable highlight of managing the business and how has the journey been since then?

 Mr. Tan: “The journey for me has been one of endless learning and growth. I only had two workers back then, but I am very thankful for my friend, Ken, who has been with me for over 28 years. He is still supporting the business now. Back then, I also faced many challenges running the business when the downfall of the Lehman Brothers triggered an economic crisis. It impacted many local businesses but I knew I had to persevere. I was determined to restore the company even if it meant that I needed to start from scratch.

3. What prompted the decision to transition from Tan Wei Auto to Tan Wei Motorcycles?

Mr. Tan:“It is time for my son to pay the bills. Haha! Jokes aside, I can see that my son is really very passionate about motorcycles so as a father, I should be supportive right?”

Yann: “Thanks Dad. But yes, motorcycles have always been my passion for as long as I can remember. As I observed the shifting trends and preferences over the years, it became clear that there was a growing demand for quality motorcycles. I also saw an opportunity to build a safe and fun community that can unite passionate riders like myself.

5. How has the rebranding to Tan Wei Motorcycles impacted the brand’s philosophy, and what values have remained constant throughout?

Yann: “The rebranding was more than just a change in name; it represented a shift in our approach. While the focus shifted to motorcycles, the core values of quality, passion, and community remained constant. We are not just selling motorcycles; we are fostering a community of riders who share a common love for the road. As our business continues to flourish, we are dedicated to enhancing the experiences of the riding community, providing value and quality service to our customers.”

6. Can you share some memorable milestones or challenges that stand out in the journey of Tan Wei Motorcycles?

Yann: “At the recent launch of our new concept showroom at Tagore, I am proud to say that we had a remarkable turnout! We invited our investors, business partners and numerous customers, who have now become friends with my team and I. Although it has only been a few years, I am truly thankful for customers who referred their friends and family. Challenges have often been opportunities to learn and innovate. We faced the shift in consumer preferences head-on, adapting our offerings to align with the evolving needs of the market.”

7. How does Tan Wei Motorcycles stay attuned to the preferences of the diverse riding community in Singapore?

Yann: “We specialize in purchasing pre-owned motorcycles and sell a diverse range of both pre-owned and brand-new bikes. Our extensive inventory boasts over 400 motorcycles, offering a wide range of options for our customers. We also offer refinancing options and provide comprehensive solutions for all your motorcycle needs.”

8. What role does customer feedback play in shaping the brand’s offerings?

Yann: “Customer feedback is invaluable. We actively engage with our customers through social media, and direct interactions with our many community activities, Understanding the diverse preferences of our riders helps us tailor our products and services, ensuring that Tan Wei Motorcycles remains a brand that resonates with its audience. If you can see, our showroom is uniquely designed to offer our customers a space to just hang out with their friends. We believe that creating a welcoming and comfortable space not only enhances the shopping experience but also reflects our dedication to providing top-notch service that goes above and beyond expectations.”

9. Where can we find Tan Wei Motorcycles, and how many showrooms are there?

Yann: “We are currently operating at two distinct locations, where we operate a total of eight shop units. You can visit us at our showrooms at 9@Tagore and Carros Centre. Our dedicated team consists of over 30 employees and we are currently in a phase of actively expanding our workforce.

10. Looking into the future, what can we expect from Tan Wei Motorcycles? Are there any exciting projects on the horizon?

Yann: “My vision for the next five years is to establish Tan Wei Motorcycles as a prominent brand within the industry. I aspire to see the brand become synonymous with quality and trust. We will also embrace digitalisation and build on the buying and selling experience for our customers. We also intend to expand our business to more locations so that we can offer our products and services to a wider community of riders. TWM is powered by Trust and Passion – this is the core value of our business and I am committed to turning Tan Wei Motorcycles into more than just a brand but a lifestyle embraced by a community of enthusiasts.”

11. Lastly, what is one piece of advice you would give to your son, Mr Tan?

 Mr. Tan: “Do not anticipate immediate success. Learn and grow the business steadily, one step at a time. Must always persevere and keep the passion alive okay!”

Yann: “I am very passionate about the business lah! But yes, I strongly believe that a business must uphold and safeguard the trust that our customers place in us. Even if certain decisions made could result in losses, I am committed to providing quality service to all.”

The Tan Wei brand stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of the Tan family’s love for automobiles and their commitment to building a thriving community in Singapore.
Through the seamless transition from auto to motorcycles and the passing of the baton to the next generation, Tan Wei Motorcycles remains a living example of how a business, rooted in passion and community, can transcend generations and leave an indelible mark on the landscape it calls home.
In every engine’s roar and every rider’s smile, know that the legacy of Tan Wei Motorcycles is proudly built on a foundation of family, passion, and the shared joy of riding.

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