European Growth on Cards for Bond International
In its almost 40 years of business York based Bond International has developed a strong nationwide wholesale distribution operation, and today the company sells an impressive three million tyres in the UK each year. At Reifen Essen T&A spoke with marketing director Richard Croft about the company’s brands and plans for the future.
News of particular significance is a shift in focus currently taking place at Bond International, a development announced for the first time during the Essen show. “We are increasing our export focus,” said Mr. Croft. “We are committed to establishing a presence in European markets.” The company has used the opportunity afforded by the massive exhibition to make new contacts on the continent, and Richard Croft expressed confidence on progressing with Bond International’s export plans as anticipated.
The company also presented new product offerings at the show, amongst them the Rotala brand of tyre. Produced by Shandong Yongsheng Rubber in a brand new factory, the new budget line-up at present includes passenger car sizes – however further growth in the Rotala range is already planned for. A UHP range is arriving in July/August and light truck sizes later in the year. Also new is the Geruti brand, a range of tyres designed for commercial vans.
These two line-ups join the company’s wide array of both premium and private/exclusive brands, such as the Infinity range, for which Bond International is the exclusive UK distributor, and its own Admiral brand. This second brand, produced by Kumho, has been available from Bond International for two years now. Another product range carried by Bond International is Sumo Firenza, and according to Richard Croft a new 4×4/light truck range will be released under this brand next year.
Bond International is, without a doubt, a growing company. In terms of tyre units supplied, the company has expanded by about 25 per cent in only five years. And the marketing director believes that the markets in which Bond International participates are still expanding. “Growth is still occurring in the UHP sector,” Mr. Croft comments. “We are getting new sizes all the time.” And while the performance market appears insatiable, he believes that in the near future growth may take place in a more down to earth segment of the market. “Commercial van tyres – this is the next big area of expansion.”