By Dave Zielasko
Palm Desert, California -- To improve delivery, especially predictability of supply, to its tyre customers, TBC Corp. is opening a mixing warehouse in Tanjin, China, and will stock it with the most popular size SKUs it sources from that country.
Executives of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida-based TBC announced the new warehouse Jan. 10 at the company's 2008 Wholesale Marketing Meeting in Palm Desert, the first such gathering to include both its TBC Private Brands and Treadways Corp. customers.
The new warehouse, which is expected to begin operation in the first quarter, is about 100 000 ft2 (9300 m2) in size and located in a duty-free zone in the port of Tanjin, said Ken Dick, president and CEO of TBC Wholesale, which consists of TBC Private Brands, Treadways and Carroll Tire.
â€œOur distributors will be able to order a full container of tyres. They'll be on a rapid boat from China in one to two weeks with delivery to you in four to five weeks,â€ he said to the more than 300 tyre dealers, distributors and tyre manufacturing executives in attendance.
Gary Paulson, president of TBC Private Brands, described the new China mixing warehouse as a â€œquantumâ€ step forward in the company's overall distribution strategy.
Besides quicker turnaround time, it will allow the company to mix a wide variety of products and sizes in one container, he said.
During the opening business session of the four-day marketing meeting, TBC executives also announced plans to streamline the firm's radial truck tyre offerings, with Sailun-brand commercial tyres becoming the featured truck tyre brand for all of TBC Wholesale. Previously the Saliun brand, manufactured by China's Qingdao Sailun Radial Tyre Co. Ltd., was offered only to Treadways distributors.
With the realignment, TBC will continue to offer the Triangle brand truck tyres in addition to Saliun.
In addition, TBC will discontinue the NaviTrac truck tyre brand, said Richard Purol, vice president sales and marketing-Sumitomo, for Treadways.
Further strengthening its relationship with Sailun, TBC will introduce a Sailun-brand passenger and light truck tyre program, said Lyle Symonds, president of Treadways.
When completed, the Sailun consumer tyre program will include ultra-high performance, high performance, touring, winter, sport-utility, light truck, all-season highway and all terrain tyres, said Bill Dashiell, vice president of product marketing, TBC Wholesale.
The Sailun consumer line will begin rolling out in late 2008.
TBC is owned by Sumitomo Corp. of America (SCOA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Corp. of Japan. SCOA established Treadways in 1985 to handle sales, marketing and distribution of the Sumitomo brand in the US.
Sumitomo Corp. acquired TBC for $1.1 billion in 2005 through SCOA, and this was the company's largest single investment to date, said Michihisa Shinagawa, president and CEO of SCOA.
â€œWe envision our acquisition of TBC as a way to expand our role in the US tyre replacement business and increase the channels of tyre distribution for tyre suppliers,â€ he said.
In October 2006, SCOA merged Treadways into TBC Corp.
SCOA posted sales of $5.4 billion in fiscal 2006, Shinagawa said. During that same period, TBC had record sales of around $2.6 billion while also producing record earnings, TBC President and CEO Larry Day said.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)