Future Forward (Eddie Chua)

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Unicla International Pte Ltd is a leading specialist for the provision of Original and OEM parts in automobile air conditioning and accessories industry in Singapore. Based in Singapore, Unicla is an authorized stockist and distributor, offering a wide range of automotive parts and accessories.

Founded in 1978, Unicla International Pte Ltd now carries a wide array of products, ranging from automotive replacement parts such as air conditioning parts, oil filters, spark plugs, to workshop equipment and hand tools. More recently, Ducatus, the company’s new range of engine lubricants, has expanded rapidly with 20 different grades and an additive range for every motoring requirement.

We chat with Eddie Chua, Director at Unicla International Pte Ltd about the future of the aftermarket automotive sector.

Are the markets in every country different?
Every country has a different requirement. That is why we have a wide range of products to cater for various markets, such as Malaysia, China and Cambodia. Currently, we are progressing well with hybrid cars fleet support for the local markets.

Care to share some of your latest products?
The very latest products are the eight and nine speed automatic transmission fluids, as cars get much more technologically advanced in emerging markets. This year alone, we launched our latest range of transmission fluids, one being DCTF – Dual Clutch Transmission Fluid, and CVTF for CVT transmissions, as well as multi lubes.

On the engine lubricant, with much more fuel efficient cars such as hybrids and small capacity engines, we expanded the Ducatus range with 0W20, as well as the very latest 15W40 CK-4, which sustains emission control systems where particulate filters and other advanced aftertreatment systems are used.

As the current market trend is turning to hybrids, and Euro-6 vehicles to comply with stricter emission levels, car manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW are switching to CJ and CK specification lubricants. We are one of the first local brands to produce CK-4 certified lubricants!

Tell us then, what is future of automotives?
The world is slowly moving to Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Hybrids. Traditional fuel powered vehicles will still form the backbone of developing markets however, and that is where we are confident of serving.

Surely it is tough to be operating in different countries…
Tough as it can be, we focus on building stability and strong relationships with our extensive dealer network. For example, we have exhibited at Automechanika in Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai as well as the AAITF Shenzhen International Auto Show – which has broadly opened our scope of operations.

This also gives us invaluable information of the development in automotive technology. For example, China is strongly developing the EV network with supercharger points, even though we feel that the future of transportation will see half of the vehicle population running on alternative energy. Diesel cars will still be around even as China’s EV concept city takes shape with tourist sorts getting electrical charging points. EVs are really about urban driving!

Let’s touch on motorsports. Where do you think motorsports is heading in general?
The passion for motorsports is being restricted by red tape and regulation. In Singapore, we do have people who prefer racing in Sepang than in Kallang as it offers a bigger playground. Initially, we were excited about the proposed Changi race track, unfortunately that didn’t materialize.

With that said, we are glad to support Autotest and their drivers as it is an exciting addition to the local motorsports scene – even attracting Sepang trackies. It is a different kind of challenge, with car handling skills which will help open up more future motorsport avenues. Most people have the illusion of motorsports from TV and movie exposure, and those who are into it are finding newer and bigger challenges.

Thailand has the most interesting motorsports culture – they have a huge following and less strict regulation. Even so, there is little sign of street racing in Thailand due to fear and liability issues. To control is good, but how much is debatable!

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Always finding ways to keep his hands full, Krado loves to tinker with his car whenever he has the free time. Usually ends in tears or a multiple fluid facial.

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