Rancho Cucamonga, California – As a result of the dissolution of the alliance between Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. (SRI) and Goodyear, SRI’s North America business units will be realigned as part of the firm’s strategy to strengthen its competitive position in the country.
Effective 1 Jan, SRI subsidiary Falken Tire Corp. will change its name to Sumitomo Rubber North America Inc. (SRNA), marking the first step of this realignment.
In addition, SRI’s Goodyear Dunlop Tire North America Ltd. (GDTNA) unit will change its name to Sumitomo Rubber USA LLC (SRUSA) by the end of March.
At the same time, responsibility for sales of Dunlop-brand light vehicle tires to Japanese OEMs and sales of Dunlop motorcycle tires will transfer from SRUSA to SRNA, the company said.
“We now have local manufacturing, test facilities and enhanced technical capabilities, all of which will help us better meet our customers’ needs.”
Under its updated corporate structure, SRNA will operate three separate sales divisions:
Dunlop Motorcycle Tire, in Tonawanda, New York, will be responsible for Dunlop motorcycle sales to OE and replacement markets;
Falken Tire, located in Rancho Cucamonga, will be responsible for replacement sales of Falken-, Ohtsu- and private-branded products for light vehicle and commercial markets; and
SRNA OE sales, based in Detroit, will be responsible for Dunlop-brand light vehicle tires for Japanese OEMs and Falken-brand OE sales for all North America OE customers.
SRNA will provide centralised administrative and logistics support to all three divisions, the company added. SRNA also will take over sales and distribution responsibility for the Caribbean and Mexico – a transition expected to take place during the first quarter of 2016.
Under the new structure, Richard Smallwood, CEO and president of Falken Tire, will remain as president and CEO of SRNA.
“The dissolution of the alliance between SRI and Goodyear will provide us the opportunity to quickly and dramatically enhance our service levels to our customers in North America,” said GDTNA Chairman and CEO Kenji Onga.