Tyre World: Sourcing in the Far East
For Tyre World this year’s Tyrexpo Asia demonstrated just how important the “rendezvous” side of tyre exhibitions can be. Burkhard Fuhrmann, managing director of the German wholesaler, says that it was much, much easier to get into contact with potential Asian business partners at Tyrexpo compared with the Essen Reifen show.
Burkhard Fuhrmann said he particularly likes the atmosphere in the Singapore Expo Center with not too many tyre people pushing their way down the aisles. Therefore there is always enough time to build new relationships with potential suppliers and customers in the south east Asian area. The managing director of Tyre World GmbH underlines this obvious advantage of the Singapore show by stating that all his European wholesaling competitors were either exhibitors at the Tyrexpo 2005 or at least present as visitors: “It is here where I can establish good relationships other than in Essen.”
Another important advantage of the Singapore show to Mr Fuhrmann is that only decision takers attend the show as visitors. So usually there are no rank and file tyre dealers wandering around the aisles who are just interested in getting a picture of the latest tyre innovations or in collecting give-aways.
Consequently, talking to people in Singapore means talking to the right people more often, the German wholesaler says at the end of the three-day show talking to Tyres & Accessories. It was much easier getting in touch with Asian suppliers or customers having a booth at the Tyrexpo, Mr Fuhrmann is convinced. It is not that actual contracts were signed in Singapore or turnover is made. But the show is generating what can be called follow-up business.
From Tyre World’s perspective it was important to develop potential buying sources in the region. “Sourcing opportunities” therefore have been Mr Fuhrmann’s main goal. This is particularly important for a new company as Tyre World was just founded five years ago in the Western German city of Herdecke. The managing director today employs almost 50 people in his wholesale and his retail businesses.
Some years ago he had the opportunity to take over a retail outlet in Neuss, near Dusseldorf. That now belongs to the German “Premio” group. Mr Fuhrmann buys and sells about half a million of tyres every year, noting “every year we can increase our turnover by 50 per cent.” About 10 per cent of Tyre World’s sales figures are truck tyres. As already indicated above, the German wholesaler wanted to buy in Singapore suffering from the same currency exchange rates as the other European wholesalers who want to sell outside the euro area. Tyre World says that most of its turnover is generated within Europe including Germany. However, the company is looking for new markets, too. “Eastern Europe is becoming increasingly interesting to us,” Mr Fuhrmann says, seeing good growth opportunities for his company beyond the borders of the single European currency.