Findlay, Ohio – Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is aiming to expand its presence in China by teaming up with tire dealers on a new retail concept for Cooper-branded tire sales and service superstores, the company announced on 14 July.
The new strategy is being adopted as China is poised to become the world’s largest tire market by 2017, the company said.
Over the past eight months, the company and local dealer partners have opened four Cooper Superfeel Centres in Shanghai, Beijing, Shandong, and Chengdu.
Cooper now plans to team with additional dealers to open two more Superfeel Centres in China before the end of this year.
Cooper Superfeel Centres, which range from 3,000 to 5,000 square feet, are claimed to offer an “array of tires for passenger cars, SUVs and other vehicle types in an enhanced shopping environment that features the use of dimensional and interactive displays as well as large format video screens.”
Additional tire-related services including alignment, balancing, and tire repair are also provided at the centres.
“[The Chinese market] is a highly fragmented business with no major distribution channels or household retail names,” said Cooper chief operating officer Brad Hughes.
“The nature of the market and the explosive growth in vehicle ownership in China provide an opportunity for Cooper to team with dealers to build upon our already respected brand in the region with a new retail tire sales and service experience,” he added.
The Cooper Superfeel Centre in Shanghai was the first to open in November 2014 and was followed by the Shandong location in January of this year, the Beijing site in March, and the Chengdu site this month. Future sites in 2015 include Inner Mongolia and Baoding.