ERJ staff report (TB)
Tokyo -- Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. (SRI) is evaluating the need and feasibility for additional tyre factories outside of Japan, with Brazil and India being two prime locations, SRI President Ikuji Ikeda said at a recent business strategy briefing in Tokyo.
A company spokesman stressed, though, that SRI has no definite expansion plans at this time.
At the briefing, Ikeda said expanding into new markets has become a management priority as demand for tyres is growing rapidly in countries such as India and Brazil.
Outside of Japan, Sumitomo has tyre plants in China, Indonesia and Thailand along with its minority shareholdings in the former Dunlop factories in the US and Europe.
Sumitomo established a sales company in Santiago, Chile, in 2009 to coordinate the sales of replacement tyres in Central/South America. Sumitomo sells between 1 million and 2 million tyres in Latin America, according to its annual report.
SRI derived nearly 47 percent of its global revenue last year from sales outside of Japan, including 14.5 percent from Asia, which includes India, and 12.9 percent from â€œother,â€ which includes Latin America. North America accounts for 13.5 percent of global sales.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)