Techking Tires Expands its OTR Line-up
When visiting tyre shows in Asia or elsewhere in the world OTR tyres often dominate the the show landscape, giving the impression that almost every other manufacturer in the world is acting as an OTR tyre specialist and hoping to get a share of the grossly under-supplied market segment.
One such company that has managed to establish an intensive business relation with plenty of well-known players and even OEMs, within a very short period of time, is Techking Tires. And this separates Techking from some of the market “vagabonds” from the Far East that are here today and gone tomorrow and that change their focal business points as often as the market demands it. The number of different products and the number of available sizes which have been brought onto the market within just two years since the company started its business is impressive, to say the least. “I love the challenge,” says the founder of Techking Tires, Tech Wang, in an interview with Tyres & Accessories. The company hopes to reach another manufacturing milestone by the summer of 2008, when it is scheduled to launch 49 and even 51 OTR sizes.
Initially, Tech Wang wanted to develop and build passenger car tyres. During the first meeting between Mr Wang and this publication in December 2005 he even asked how he should best name his new PC tyre brand-to-be in order to make it a strong match for the European tyre markets. But that’s almost ancient history for what is still a very young company. Since then Techking Tires has completely changed its business model and changed from the development of PC and truck tyres to radial OTR tyres (and only radial tyres). The founder of Techking has a long history in the tyre business, working as a tyre engineer for Triangle Tyre where he developed new passenger car products.
Unfortunately, he continues, there are about 30 to 40 PCR tyre manufacturers in China that are trying to sell about 60 different radial tyre brands on the local Chinese as well as on export markets. The numerous suppliers that feed the OTR tyre market (including retreaders and used tyre brokers, not to mention the well-established Western OTR tyre giants Michelin and Bridgestone) ensure that Techking Tires doesn’t run short of competitors. However, Tech Wang firmly believes that there are better chances of successfully establishing a start-up company on the OTR tyre market than on the PCR tyre market. It depends on the quality of the products and services as well as on the line-up.
Those responsible at Techking Tires are clearly following a philosophy of quality, Mr Wang explains. This seems likely to help the new player on the OTR tyre market to survive the end of the current boom which, many observers say, will end with a strong market consolidation. Within just a very short period of time Techking wants to make a name for itself. And the company doesn’t want this name to be “cheap Jack,” the founder of the company continues. It is rather a question of becoming a reliable and long-term partner that does supply products at OEM quality plus various services and supports.
During the interview at the Reifen China show in Shanghai Tech Wang continuously mentioned how important the notion of “quality” is to the company and its OTR tyre products. So, for example Techking buys raw and other materials from leading suppliers like Bekaert or Cabot. Apparently the company does not compromise on quality and has also managed to hire some very experienced consultants like Mr Futoshi Uchi who as an engineer wored for Sumitomo Rubber Industries in Japan for a long time and is now a technical adviser to Techking Tires.
Apart from quality, it is important to be able to offer a full range of products in the OTR tyre segment. This would help any young company to remain in business even when supply and demand should level. Furthermore, it is also important, says Mr Wang, to establish oneself as a “professional supplier of solutions in the OTR tyre segment.”
Currently, Techking’s line-up includes a large number of different tread patterns which can be used for cranes, loaders, dumpers, graders, bulldozers, etc. The dimensions that are currently available from Techking Tires range from 25 to 35 inches mainly and therefore covers the middle size range of the OTR tyre segment. As mentioned above, Techking Tires is going to make inroads into the giant OTR tyre market with the production of tyres in 49 and 51 inches. These tyres will be needed if Techking want to supply giant dump trucks in the region of 100 tonnes of load capacity upwards. Again, Techking did not just want to produce and supply the most profitable tyre sizes but it was important to it to be able to offer a full range of OTR tyres.
However, at the end it is also very important to make a name of Techking and to establish this name as a brand conveys particular meaning. In order to achieve this it was also necessary to be active in the classical field of public relation work and placing adverts. So it comes as no surprise that the company runs a fully-fledged marketing department that looks after things like brand management. First of all a (OTR) tyre brand is made by virtue of supreme product quality and satisfied customers, adds Benjamin Zhang, Techking’s marketing expert. It has also been important for the company to institutionalise relations with customers and the media as well as to already existing and potential OE customers. Currently, Techking Tires Supplies major OEM’s such as Volvo, Liebherr or Komatsu as well as smaller earth moving machinery manufacturers like Moxy in Norway or Bell in South Africa.