Wheel Gallery celebrates 10 years of innovationBy Alvin Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Ask anybody who owns a car on the roads of Manila and maybe nine out of 10 motorists will know Concept One wheels.
From custom cars to jeepneys to exotic SUVs, one can always spot a “Concept One” sticker on the windshield or mud flap on a vehicle somewhere. Even kiosks in malls or stores in car shops are selling these stickers. The car owners treat it as a badge of honor to be associated with the Concept One brand. From car shows to the opens roads, from off-road tracks to race tracks, the Concept One badge seems everywhere.
Wheel Gallery Inc. (WGI) managing partner Sammy Liuson, the genius behind this home-grown powerhouse brand, says it’s been a challenging, yet exciting, decade for them. Through their first 10 years in the highly competitive and glamorous world of automotive aftermarket parts and accessories, WGI has always been known as a group that leads the market in terms of product innovation and design. “We have always prioritized form, function and affordability as a response to a need of the local market for quality aftermarket wheels.”
Wheel Gallery is the company that distributes and owns the Concept One wheel brand, and is an exclusive distributor of global tire brands like Nitto, Avon, Starfire and wheel and aftermarket brands like BBS, Kellener Sports and Carlsson. It started out in 2002, when the group started to carve out a niche in the aftermarket industry.
“We came out with off-the-cuff designs in 17 to 20 inches at a time when 15 inches was the norm for Japanese and American sedans,” Liuson said. A year later, WGI introduced the “bling-bling” look with huge 20- to 22-inch Bazo, Mkw, MB Motoring chrome wheels and matching low-profile tires.
By 2004, Liuson and his partner Johnny Tan raised the ante by being the first to offer even bigger-sized wheels from 22- to 26-inch chrome wheels from TSW of USA, Petrol, Black Rhino chrome and Victor equipment. This was also the year Wheel Gallery introduced Starfire tires from Cooper Tires USA in the market. By 2006, riding on the popular Concept One fame on the automotive enthusiast market, it came out with a series of radio shows with 99.5RT’s Hit My Ride and a segment with the motoring TV lifestyle show Auto Extreme. It was also a milestone year for WGI when it became the official SUV wheel retailer for Ray’s Engineering of Japan.
In 2009, WGI was certified and named as the official tires of the Philippine Touring Car (PTCC) and Philippine Production Car Championships (PPCC) with its Nitto Tires. “Nitto and Starfire fitted the requirements of racers in terms of performance and reliability. It was also important to us that time to have a sponsor who understands the sport,” says Mandy Eduque, chairman of the Automobile Association of the Philippines and the authorized representative of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile. A year later, Concept One, Nitto and Starfire tires became the official tires and wheel equipment for the PTCC and PPCC, as Wheel Gallery launched the country’s first Race of Champions. This was a race series that pitted veterans of the sport against the current breed of race champions.
Another pivotal year came in 2011, when WGI introduced its European lineup by becoming the exclusive and authorized representative of BBS GMbh, Carlsson Autotecnik GMbh and Kelleners Sport GMbh to service the aftermarket needs of Mercedes-Benz and BMW enthusiasts and car owners. This year, Wheel Gallery expanded and renovated its showroom along Santolan street in Greenhills, San Juan. In celebration of its 10 years of aftermarket excellence, WGI is offering huge discounts to as low as P5,000 for a set of 15-inch wheels and slashed prices for select brands under its lineup. This sale of the decade runs until September 21.
For more information, visit Concept One Wheels on Facebook or www.conceptonewheels.com.
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