ERJ staff report (TB)
Tire Business staff report
Dubai, United Arab Emirates - International tyre distributor Zafco Trading llc has secured the rights to the mothballed Armstrong brand name from Pirelli Tyre S.p.A. for the next five years and intends to start marketing farm and truck tyres under that name in the US.
Carl Casalbore, vice president of sales at Zafco International L.L.C. in Doral, Florida. -a Zafco Trading subsidiary - said adding the Armstrong brand to Zafco's portfolio in the US â€œis an important strategic step we have taken in line with the needs of the US market.â€
Pirelli has not used the Armstrong brand name in more than a decade. It acquired the brand in its 1988 takeover of Armstrong Rubber Co. but phased out its use during the latter half of 1990s.
Nonetheless, Casalbore - who worked for Pirelli for 20 years in the 1970s-90s-said the brand â€œhas a lot to offer in the agriculture and commercial tyres segment in the US, and therefore this will be the main focus for Armstrong here.â€
In addition, he said, Zafco intends to use the Armstrong brand name for a range of passenger tyres, including touring and ultra-high-performance, SUV and CUV lines.
Zafco's deal with Pirelli includes a provision to acquire the brand outright within five years. Financial terms of the deal, which was signed 23 April, were not disclosed.
Asif Yusufzai, member of the Board of Directors of Zafco, described the deal as marking a â€œmomentous occasionâ€ for both Zafco and for the brand Armstrong.
â€œWe took this step in keeping with our long-term vision of establishing our presence across all segments of the market and to implement our global strategy of offering a wide ranging assortment to our customers,â€ Yusufzai said. â€œWe also aim for continuous improvements in product quality to ensure that every new product we roll out under the Armstrong will be better than its predecessors.â€
Zafco said it will have Armstrong-brand tyres manufactured at â€œreputable factories commensurate with its internationally recognised high quality.â€ The Dubai-based distributor did not elaborate on this statement, but the company has a joint venture with Otani Tire Co. Ltd of Thailand for the production of truck and bus tyres, according to a posting on its website.
Founded in 1993, Zafco distributes tyres, batteries and lubricants globally through offices and distributors in 85 countries. ZTI Tires Inc. of Doral is the US distributor.
Globally, Zafco handles more than a dozen tyre brands in various markets, including Accelera, Double Coin, Dunlop, Hankook, Ling Long, MRF, Otani, Pirelli, Roadstone, Siam and Sumitomo. In January it acquired the Zeetex brand from S&H Tires B.V., a Dutch company that helped create the brand six years ago.
This is an external link and should open in a new window. If the window does not appear, please check your pop-up blocking software. ERJ is not responsible for the content of external sites.
Article from Tire Business