Rio Grande, Puerto Rico -- With its eye on becoming the fifth largest tyre maker globally by 2015, Kumho Tire Co. Ltd.Â´s global sales jumped 10 percent in 2007 to $2400 million (Euro 1612 million).
Kumho Tire USA Inc., meanwhile, saw its sales surge 22 percent to approximately $565 million, a $100 million increase from 2006, David Hudrlik, senior vice president of sales for Kumho Tire USA, told dealers 12 Jan at its annual meeting in Rio Grande.
About 10.1 million units were sold in 2007, and 9.9 million of those units were sold in the replacement market, Hudrlik said. He noted that 2007Â´s unit sales were up 1.8 million units from 2006.
To elevate the perception of the Kumho brand, Kumho will focus on partnering with dealers to create regional advertising campaigns instead of sponsoring national venues such as Bassmaster events and the X Games, Mr. Brennan said. Those promotions will include TV, radio, print and Internet advertising as well as billboards and direct mail, all on a market by market basis.
KumhoÂ´s global branding strategy also will change to emphasise that its tyres are stylish products, and a tagline of "Get your Style" will be seen on new print ads and promotional brochures.
The new Ecsta Platinum LX tyre, available to dealers by March, will be positioned as a premium tyre for BMW, Lexus, Mercedes, Lincoln and Infiniti owners but will be priced below many competitorsÂ´ premium brands, according to Hudrlik.
KumhoÂ´s global tyre capacity is 60 million tyres, and the firm plans to increase capacity to reach 93 million units by 2015, Mr. Hudrlik said. In 2008, there will be no changes in passenger tyre supply to US dealers, but light truck tyre supply should increase by 1 million units as KumhoÂ´s new plant in Vietnam comes on-stream at the end of the first quarter, he said.
Noting that Kumho has gained an OE fitment on the upcoming 2009 Dodge Journey--a crossover vehicle Chrysler LLC will heavily market-- Hudrlik said Kumho will only focus on OE to drive customers to Kumho dealers. The companyÂ´s latest fitment with Chrysler on the Dodge Journey is possible due to an excess of capacity, he said.?
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)