Keeping the car clean and virus free

TRAPO car mats are odourless, anti-slip and can trap dirt and mud. It also comes with a 99.9% antibacterial technology

by AZALEA AZUAR/ pic credit: TRAPO

IT MIGHT not look like anything much, but without your car flooring, you might as well be driving a piece of junk.

Automotive flooring — carpets, mats and others which are designed and used inside vehicles — is certainly an integral part of your car. It prevents the original surface from dirt, wear or corrosion. The items also improve the car’s interior aesthetics.

While all the items could be taken for granted, let it be known that according to a 2019 report by Global Market Insights Inc, the market valuation of automotive flooring is expected to reach US$1.8 billion (RM7.6 billion) by 2026!

The product demand will also increase due to ongoing technological upgrades for environmentally-friendly and lightweight automotive flooring.

If you’re thinking of going into business, be aware that the automotive flooring market share will rise due to high availability of floor mats in several types of raw materials such as nylon, rubber and leather to suit the consumer’s preferences and usage.

Nylon is expected to rise as the demand for fibre increases because of its material being lightweight, strong, flexible and low cost.

In terms of revenue, the Asia-Pacific market is expected to dominate the global market, in accordance to an increasing demand for passenger safety and vehicle comfort in the region.

The growing production of commercial and passenger vehicles in the Asia-Pacific region also contributes to the growth of the automotive flooring market.

The shift of consumer preferences for vehicle comfort and the increasing aftermarket players, which offer a variety of floor mats for several vehicle models, will increase the automotive flooring industry’s size.

Customisable and Antibacterial Car Mats

Homegrown customisable car mat company TRAPO Asia began when its CEO Tzong Lee felt frustrated after cleaning his car mats as after-market solutions were’t fixing the problem.

Lee’s family also owns a toy foam factory which has hundreds of tonnes of waste foam, so he decided to recycle them into car mats.

After being around for almost four years in the market, TRAPO has sold over 200,000 car mats with customers reporting 98% satisfaction.

Lee said the company’s product is different from other car mats as it is easy to clean and dry. TRAPO’s mats can also trap dirt and mud, odourless, anti-slip and yes, it’s recyclable.

“Ever since we launched the antibacterial technology, we have provided a complete hygiene solution for customers. Customers are now happy that dirt and mud can be seen clearly on the car mats and it’s easy to clean. Bacteria that cannot be seen with the naked eye on the car mats can also be cleaned,” Lee said proudly.

TRAPO’s car mats come in three versions. TRAPO Eco is made out of 68% recyclable material, while TRAPO Classic (Mark II) allows consumers to choose the lining colour. It also comes with a 99.9% antibacterial technology and one-year warranty.

The premium range is the TRAPO Hex. It is built-in with the most advanced technologies and comes with a five-year warranty.

“TRAPO Classic is the bestselling among all because it allows the most customisation to customers with different needs,” Lee said.

Keeping Your Car Clean

TRAPO is claimed to be the most hygienic car mat in Malaysia as it has been infused with advanced Japan Bactekiller technology.

Although it’s unable to kill viruses such as Covid-19, it is still able to eliminate 99.9% of bacteria on the surface of the car mats and improve hygiene.

Recently, a memorandum of agreement was signed between Fuji Chemical Industries Co Ltd and TRAPO to be the sole car mat manufacturer that would use its Japanese technology here.

Now, how does the Japan Bactekiller Technology work on these mats?

“In TRAPO, we have this patented Japan Bactekiller Technology where silver ions are injected into the car mats during the manufacturing process that will kill 99.9% bacteria upon contact with water,” Lee said.

Among the many complaints from drivers are about having an unpleasant smell in the car which is caused by bacteria.

“Drivers often buy car perfume to cover up the scent, but not kill the bacteria. TRAPO believes in solving the problem by finding the root cause. We have many cases where eliminating bacteria usually solves the odour issue in cars,” Lee said, adding that car mats should also be cleaned every two weeks to ensure the freshness in the car.

“For TRAPO users, it is a rather straightforward process for them to see the dirt and mud on the car mats, followed by less than five minutes to remove the dirt and only wash it if needed,” he said.

Lee also highly recommends that cars should be cleaned before it’s driven.

TRAPO has also come up with other products such as Oxtra supercharge cordless vacuum and Nano Clean, which is now a bestseller

“We also advise you to spray your car with Oxtra Nano Clean+, our latest product that is aimed at eliminating viruses that will protect your car interior up to 60 days from both bacteria and viruses,” he added.

Having the habit of keeping the car clean, while selecting the right product will save drivers a lot of time and make cleaning easier.

“Cleaning less often will definitely allow more bacteria to accumulate, making it a more tedious process,” Lee said.

Surviving the Pandemic

During the Movement Control Order (MCO), TRAPO’s sales were affected as a result of limited mobility among consumers.

However, Lee’s team has been working from home and improving their business model, trying to provide a better experience for their customers after MCO.

“We are also spending more effort on educating the masses on our antibacterial technology and engaging our customers to find out their needs and wants during these trying times,” Lee added.

Although not many people used their vehicles often during the initial phases of the MCO, there were still customers buying TRAPO car mats everyday, especially among consumers who understand the importance of hygiene,

“After all, people still need to drive to get groceries and more recently, with regulations being eased, more people are driving again,” Lee said.

Since many people are placing hygiene as their top priority, TRAPO has also come up with other products such as “Oxtra supercharge cordless vacuum” and “Nano Clean”, which is now a bestseller.

Lee said during the MCO, people are more serious on keeping their space clean and bacteria free.

“We will continue to do our best to align to our mission statement in providing a safe, hygienic and comfortable driving experience to all drivers out there,” Lee said.