ERJ staff report (TB)
Cleveland, Ohio -- Vee Rubber America Inc. is expanding its presence in North America with new products, new distributors and a warehouse in the Atlanta area, company executives said today at the International Tire Exhibition & Conference (ITEC) in Cleveland.
Vee Rubber, the US subsidiary of Thailand's Vee Rubber Corp. Ltd., is rolling out two tyre lines new to North America-the Winter Season IV studdable snow tyre and the Taiga H/T light truck tyre-and expanding the size range for its Vitron all-season performance tyre and Traimate trailer tyre line, according to Patrick Hyland, sales/marketing manager for the US company.
Additionally, Vee Rubber displayed at its booth at ITEC an all-terrain version of the Taiga light truck tyre line that it expects to have available before year-end in both black and white-letter fitments. A mud terrain version also is under development but won't be available until late 2011 or 2012.
Vee Rubber now has distributors and dealers in place that provide it with 90 percent coverage in the US and 80 percent in Canada, Mr. Hyland told Tire Business.
Lithia Springs, Ga.-based Vee Rubber also has bought a 60,000-sq.-ft. warehouse in Atlanta and plans to move a smaller motorcycle tyre warehousing operation there before year-end, Mr. Hyland said, as well as set up a base of operations for the company's technical sales and engineering force.
Vee will stock some consumer tyres at the new warehouse, he said, but these will be principally for filling in orders occasionally. Otherwise the company will continue to conduct business with its distributors via container-load shipments from the factory near Bangkok.
Vee Rubber America has benefited to a degree from the elevated tariffs on Chinese consumer tyres, Mr. Hyland said, but the firm is more focused on building long-term relationships with dealers and distributors that share Vee's strategy of building the brand.
The increased business from North America and other export markets is requiring Vee Rubber Corp. to invest in expanding capacity, but Vitorn Sukanjanapong, managing director, declined to discuss specifics at this time.
Consumer tyres represent about 40 percent of Vee Rubber Corp.'s annual sales, Mr. Skanjanapong said, with about 95 percent of this segment being exported. North America is the largest export market, he said, accounting for close to half of the exports.
Vee Rubber also disclosed it is developing a second, associate brand with its own tread patterns, but this move is still at an early stage, the executives said.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)