THE HISTORY OF ECU-SHOP
In Chiangmai Thailand in the early 2000's a young man named Ponpoj Wannapinyo was busy modifying his Mitsubishi Evolution (as you do) and like many young men, he was always looking for ways to squeeze more power out of the engine. In those days there weren't many options for tuning, but Ponpoj ( Ar) tried whatever he could to get his hands on solutions that were affordable for a young man not long out of high school. After a couple of years of trying,sometimes failing and not getting the results he knew were possible, Ar decided to design and build his own Piggy Back ECU... as the old saying goes 'necessity is the mother of invention'.
As Ar began learning about tuning and what was/was not possible, there were some early successes but also at his own admission, a number of blown up engines of his and his friends. Despite the challenges Ar never gave up and kept on chasing his dream.
Ar realised that if his dream was to ever become a business, he needed to think bigger than Japanese Performance Cars as that was a small niche market in Thailand. Steven Covey in his book 7 Habits of Highly Successful People talks of his 1st principle being "start with the end in mind" and to that end Ar decided to develop products initially for the largest market segment in Thailand of Diesel Utes and 4x4's. So Ar began designing piggyback ECU's and again there were some expensive lessons in the R&D process, but finally he had a design that worked well. So an initial batch was made and sold cheaply to friends to try - and they were delighted.
Ar was about to go to University with funds that his parents had kindly saved for his university education. Ar spoke with his parents and discussed the concept of not going to university, rather he wanted to start a business and use their education fund for that. His parents agreed. After a limited production run in his home garage Ar had a working product but no sales... so it was time to hit the road and sell his concept and product to other workshops. Many laughed and said it would never work, but some came on board and little by little the business began to grow.
Ar was on the road for 2 years and personally called on over 1000 workshops. At times he slept in his car to save money and if he didn't make sales that day then he didn't get to eat that night - how times have changed! Till today Ar can still be found tuning cars, utes and motorbikes in the R&D process for the vast range of products that ECU-SHOP now offer.
Such is ECU-SHOPS reputation for doing things right, they now have exclusive OEM relationships with both Ford and Toyota in Thailand where almost all of the Utes sold new in New Zealand are manufactured. The ability to work with OEMs means there is R&D work done in advance for new vehicles to ensure when the Ute or 4x4 comes to market there is an OEM collaborated product ready to suit the aftermarket.
Expect to see some exciting products in 2024
ECU-SHOP products control the World's Fastest & Quickest 4 Cylinder diesel powered drag car that with a 3.1 litre Isuzu D-Max 4JJ1 3.1 litre engine making over 1100hp and 1600Nm has just run 6.83 seconds over 400m. The learnings and successes from the track are applied to the products that ECU-SHOP sells everyday to the public.
ECU-SHOP have been developing EV technology for the last 3 years and have a number of cars, motorbikes and soon a EV retrofit Ute they will be bringing to market- so they are really moving with the times. Expect to see some real innovation with respect to drive in drive out EV conversions in the near future.
ECU-SHOP's technical understanding of electronics and controls is such that they now design and manufacture Boeing 737 flight training simulators for Thai Airways and other jet pilot training companies.
The ECU-SHOP Training facility and R&D Centre has over 1,500m2 of floor space with the main Production Factory being 5,500m2 and having over 130 full time staff - a long way from a young man working out of his parents garage!
The Marketing, Sales Administration and Showroom centre in Bangkok is 5,000m2 with 4 apartments on the 2nd level for International ECU-SHOP dealers to stay when they are visiting Thailand for training.
Ar and his team have been to New Zealand many times to see what our market needs and to meet the NZ dealer base. They have many exciting cutting edge products coming to market in 2024/2025.
We are delighted to have been representing ECU-SHOP in New Zealand and the South Pacific on an exclusive basis for the last 7 years and look forward to the next decade partnering with these global leaders.
Ar has come a long way from selling ECU's door to door, going without food and sleeping in his car, to being a co-owner with his family of a mega successful Global company designing, manufacturing and exporting best in class products all over the world.