The concept of United Motor Works germinated in 1902, when founder Chia Yee Soh was a young apprentice in a small bicycle shop in Singapore. It came a day when a customer brought a motorcycle into the shop to have its tyres fixed.

Chia, being intensely interested in everything mechanical, not only fixed the tyres, he also took the opportunity to dissemble and assemble it again!

This little incident led to Chia's complete absorption in the mysteries of the internal combustion engine. He then decided to set up his own automotive repair shop in 1971. He named it United Motor Works.

The business grew slowly but surely, secured by the bedrock of customer satisfaction.
Almost a hundred years on and still firmly anchored by this simple philosophy, UMW has evolved into one of the largest home-grown companies in Malaysia. Today, UMW is a leading industrial enterprise with diverse and global interests in the automotive, equipment, manufacturing and engineering, and oil & gis industries.

At each stage of its growth and development through prosperity and recessions, the UMW Group has withstood the test of time. Strategic alliances with global players have positioned the UMW Group as a leader in its core businesses.


Helmsion started as a small enterprise trading crane related spare parts.

Due to overwhelming requests for complimentary services, the company started an engineering department servicing cranes and other material lifting equipments.

With excellence service track records and customers' support, the company ventured into selling new cranes and steel fabrication of lifting structure with expanded business, the company shifted to a new larger premise to meet the rising demand.

Helmsion was recognised and was invited to become a member of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry. This prestigious recognition propelled the management to a higher level of excellence.

The growth of the marine industry prompted the company to maximise the potential of its in-house engineering expertises and ventured into major fabrication of mammoth lifting structures. Hence a second move into a larger premise twice larger.

The company achieved a quality milestone and was awarded ISO 9001:2001 for quality management system of sales, design, fabrication and installation of hoists and cranes. In the same year, Building Control Authority also upped the company's tender value to $1,000,000.

Helmsion conformed with occupational health and safety management systems guidelines and was granted OHSAS 18001:2007. With this acknowledgement, the company set a higher level of environment protection and ensuring its projects comply with the guidelines.

The dynamic growth of the company was recognised by UMW's oil & gas which spurs them to acquire a stake to synergise towards the next phase of development. With its new strong partner, Helmsion plans to be an engineering company providing a complete global material handling solutions.

With good track records and achievements, Building Control Authority further increase the company's tender value to more tan $3,000,000 thus enabling them to take on larger responsibilities in the industry.

Relocated to UMW’s Oil & Gas premises at No. 4 Pandan Avenue which is 5 times the size of last location.